Utah’s Most Famous Visitor, A Great Gray Owl


Utah has had a famous visitor as of recent, a great gray owl has made a rare appearance to the state. It has been reported the last sighting of a great gray owl in Utah was back in 1989. A rare sighting indeed for this great gray owl to show up in Utah this year.

great gray owl
A recent sighting of a great gray owl in Utah.


The common theory of why this owl made a most unusual visit to Utah revolves around the very wet and heavy winter the western United States has experienced this year. It has been hypothesized this particular great gray owl moved further south this winter to find a more ample food supply due to deeper snow levels up north.

great gray owl
The great gray owl isn’t a normal utah resident or even visitor.


Well, whatever the biological reason for such a sighting, this great gray owl has generated a ton of interest from birders, local residents and even some people from out of state to come admire this magnificent owl.

great gray owl in utah
A great gray owl sighting in Northern Utah.


I have observed and photographed it twice, both on rainy days and in very low light conditions so the images aren’t as sharp as I would hope for but anytime I get to photograph a rarity such as this great gray owl I take it no matter the weather conditions. If nothing else it is a real treat to observe such a rare owl in Utah in person.

great gray owl in utah.
My first ever great gray owl sighting in Utah.

great gray owl in utah
Great gray owl roosting in a cottonwood tree in northern Utah.

great gray owl in utah
Head study of a great gray owl making a rare appearance in Utah.

great gray owl in utah
Portrait of a great gray owl in Utah for the first time since 1989.

great gray owl in utah
A rare occurrence in Utah, a great gray owl.

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