Spring is starting to bloom here in the Wasatch, which means local flora and fauna are emerging with fresh vitality—and now’s the time to take to the trails and soak in all that Summit Creek’s vibrant 300+ acres of uninhabited land has to offer. From miles of mountainside hiking trails and biking paths to nearby lakes and rivers dotted with picturesque fly-fishing spots, Summit Creek invites residents to explore and embrace the outdoors (on-property or nearby). And while you’re enjoying the fresh spring air, keep an eye out for native wildlife. Below, we highlight five mammals and birds you’re likely to spot on your next adventure at Summit Creek.
Keep your eyes on the skies this spring to see if you can spot America’s striking national bird: the majestic bald eagle. You’ll recognize it by its dark brown body, white tail, beady yellow eyes, and sturdy legs and talons. As you observe, note size and colors—females are always larger than males, and younger birds are distinguishable for their all-brown plumage, since whiter feathers do not come in until around five years old.
Known for their slender, (but brawny) brown bodies, thick head and neck fur, elk are a staple in the Summit Creek area. Though it’s fascinating to watch herds of bulls and cows (males and females) meander through the valleys, make sure to keep your distance—male elks are protective and aggressive by nature and may attack without warning. Bulls can weigh up to 700 pounds and, at full speed, get up to 45 miles per hour.
Though they are much smaller than elk, deer share some of the same physical characteristics, such as slender brown bodies and big ears—but are far less aggressive. In the Wasatch, mule deer are the most prevalent, and named for their large, mule-like ears. Keep watch for does with young fawns grazing near ponds and streams.
Consider bringing a sketchbook along on your next hike so you can draw or paint pictures of wild turkeys—they are a sight to see. Some of their defining characteristics include fan-shaped tails, gray and pink necks and dark feathers.
Birdwatchers will be flocking outdoors this spring in hopes of spotting one of the region’s many rare birds. Among the most prevalent are broad-tailed hummingbirds, greater roadrunners, prairie falcons and Swainson’s hawks. Millions of birds migrate through Utah every year, so you will likely see several brightly colored, magnificent winged friends on any given day.