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DINOSAUR — Bald eagles, sandhill cranes and Canada geese have returned to Dinosaur National Monument, marking the beginning of the spring bird migration. These and many other birds travel hundreds or thousands of miles between their winter and summer homes, stopping here to rest and feed.
The recent warm weather has melted most of the ice on the Green River, allowing bald eagles to hunt for their most common food: fish. Trees along the river provide an ideal perch from which they hunt. Sandhill cranes and Canada geese can often be heard before they are seen. Loud honking sounds can carry quite far — more than a mile in the case of cranes.
Many visitors enjoy bird watching in the monument and more than 200 species of birds have been documented inside the monument. A variety of habitats — riparian (along waterways), sagebrush, pinon-juniper woodland, among others — encourages a variety of different birds. Popular bird watching locations include the Split Mountain Campground and River Trail, Josie Morris cabin area and Jones Hole Trail. With temperatures gradually getting warmer, now is a good time to visit the monument and watch the spring migration.