From the University of Utah website: Located along almost three miles of Dolores River in the magnificent red-rock country of southeastern Utah, The University of Utah's Rio Mesa Center provides opportunities for field-based interdisciplinary research that emphasizes ecology and the environment in the broadest sense. Rio Mesa Center is a real-world laboratory for integrated thinking about humans and their place in biologically complex, but fragile, systems. The Center promotes research, courses and professional training at the interface of history, anthropology, biology, art and human sustainability. You must contact the University before visiting. Click here for more information.
Birding should be similar to that down river on the Dolores. This river is a natural migrant route, and provides lots of food, and obviously water for migrating songbirds. This is about the northern limit in the United States for LUCY'S WARBLER which can be found here quite easily during late spring through the breeding season. BLUE GROSBEAK, CANYON WREN, and YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT are all fairly common here. At the center conducting bird banding and in recent years have banded a number of mega-rarities for Utah here including PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER and YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER.
From Hwy 191 on the north side of Moab, just south of the Colorado River, take UT-128 east along the Colorado River for 29.8 miles to the turn off at Dewey Bridge and the Dolores River on your right. From here you can take the dirt road 6.9 miles and turn left following the sign to Rio Mesa another 1.1 mile.