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Major Migrations

A model of a heron in a museum.

Birds are some of the world’s most impressive migrators! Each year millions travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to the Great Salt Lake of Utah, where they can rest, find friends, and have safe places to hatch and raise their young. Like birds and other animals, humans also find their way to the Great Salt Lake area, often for the same reasons. Through our Great Salt Lake gallery, learn more about the Great Salt Lake of Utah and the millions of birds that visit Utah’s wetlands and watersheds each year during their great migrations and explore how our human migration stories connect us to lives of these incredible birds.

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Virtual Field Trip of Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake exhibition is a remnant of the once-massive Lake Bonneville, which stretched 300+ miles end to end. Learn about how the Great Salt Lake and surrounding area have evolved over time and meet the diverse creatures that now make it their home, including the many birds that use it as a pit stop in their migration!

Explore Great Salt Lake


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How to Fill Up a Lake

Use patterns and cause and effect to explore how different land forms help create lakes.

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Migratory Birds

Many birds rely on the Great Salt Lake. Get creative while actively learning more about them.

Get Creative
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People of the Great Salt Lake

Many animals have relied on and migrated to the Great Salt Lake, but what about humans?

Sharing Stories


Q&A with Biologist Katie Newburn on March 23

Katie Newburn is the Education & Outreach Director for FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake, a nonprofit organization founded in 1994 with the mission to preserve and protect the Great Salt Lake ecosystem through education, research, advocacy, and the arts. Katie facilitates the organization's environmental education programs, which seek to develop the next generation of Great Salt Lake stewards. These programs help students experience and understand the lake's weird and wonderful ecosystem, the threats it's facing, and how we can all help to protect it. Hint: saving water!

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Where do pelicans call home? Why is the Great Salt Lake so salty? Where is the best place to see migrating birds? Hear Katie share the story of the Great Salt Lake birds!

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How do birds know when and where to migrate? What cool adaptations do birds have? Can you swim in the Great Salt Lake? Katie shares all her amazing knowledge about our migrating friends.

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Where does the water come from that fills the Great Salt Lake? Is the lowering lake going to affect the animals and humans that rely on it? How can a student get involved in water conservation? Katie shares how Utah's water policies affect the Great Salt Lake.

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