The sound that male sage grouse make as they strut on their breeding grounds is one of the most unique in nature.

The sight of the strutting grouse simply adds to the experience.

Those interested will be able to see and hear the annual ritual this Saturday at Emma Park, located about 13 miles north of Price.

To see and hear the spectacle, those attending need to be at the viewing site early. Viewing is best before sunrise and just after the sun has risen.

Grouse leave their strutting ground within an hour or so after sunup.

After leaving their breeding ground, the grouse spend the daylight hours feeding and resting in stands of sagebrush. They remain out of sight until the following morning, when they congregate at their strutting ground at first light.

Biologists for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will be on hand with spotting scopes and binoculars and to help find the grouse and answer any questions.

To reach the area, look for the Emma Park sign at the top of Price Canyon along U.S. 6. Turn left and travel east to the viewing site.

For information call Brent Stettler at 435-613-3707 or 435-613-3700.


People shouldn't be surprised to see hundreds of dead birds along the southeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake over the next few weeks.

More than 15,000 birds died on the lake last fall. Most of the birds were eared grebes.

Testing done at the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., has confirmed that the birds died of avian cholera, a disease that sweeps through grebes and other birds on the lake almost every year.

"Avian cholera is caused by a common bacteria that's found all across the country," said Leslie McFarlane, wildlife disease coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "When the conditions are right, avian cholera takes off. It can spread through a bird population quickly."

Even though the birds died last fall, the salt water in the lake has preserved their carcasses. The birds seen along the shoreline may look as if they died recently but have actually been dead for several months.

McFarlane said the bacteria that causes avian cholera does not affect people or other mammals, including dogs. And because the birds have been dead for so long, their carcasses don't pose a threat to other birds.

For more information call 801-538-4700.


Natural Bridges National Monument in southeast Utah turns 100 this year.

As part of the celebration, on April 16 at 1 p.m. the park staff will hold a birthday party with cake and a banner to kick off a year of special commemorative events.

President Theodore Roosevelt signed the proclamation declaring the area a National Monument on April 16, 1908, making it the first National Park unit in Utah.

Throughout this year, the staff will be celebrating a theme of "100 Years of National Parks in Utah."

On the 16th, a centennial calendar of events for the year will be released.

It was made a park to preserve three rare rock bridges created by canyon and stream erosion. These are some of the largest natural bridges in the world, two of which are among the five largest worldwide.

The national monument is located about 35 miles west of Blanding off of Highway 95.