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La Grande Observer Daily Paper 07/21/14

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Viewing Report ODFW

Red-tailed hawks have begun sitting in their nests in several locations in the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area. Those pictured above are from a previous season. ODFW photo
Red-tailed hawks have begun sitting in their nests in several locations in the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area. Those pictured above are from a previous season. ODFW photo

Glass Hill Unit opens 

LADD MARSH WILDLIFE AREA

Tule Lake Public Access Area and the Auto Route are open for the season. The Glass Hill Unit opened April 1.

Visitors are advised to carefully read posted signs and consult game bird regulations before entering the wildlife area.

There are numerous quality-viewing opportunities from county roads that pass through the area.

Binoculars or a spotting scope will help as many animals are best viewed from a distance.

Hundreds of ducks and geese are using the area including Canada geese, greater white-fronted geese, northern pintails, American wigeon, ring-necked ducks, mallards and gadwall. The first cinnamon teal of the year have arrived along with northern shoveler and at least a few Eurasian wigeon. Scoping the flats east of Peach Road should show good numbers of geese and ducks. At least 200 tundra swans are scattered in nearly every pond and wetland on Ladd Marsh. Report any waterfowl with neck collars to the wildlife area headquarters.

Bewick’s wrens, black-capped chickadees, western meadowlarks and song sparrows are singing. Hundreds of American robins remain on Ladd Marsh, dotting small trees, shrubs and pastures. The first swallows of the season have arrived as well.

All the expected sandhill crane pairs have arrived and are on their territories. These local pairs will likely begin nesting near the end of the month or in early April. There are also small groups of non-breeding and larger groups of migrating sandhill cranes using areas in and near the wildlife area.

Cranes can be seen from county roads in several locations. Report any sandhill cranes wearing leg bands to the Ladd Marsh staff (541-963-4954). If possible, note the color and order of bands on each of the bird’s legs (e.g., pink above white on left leg; silver above black on right leg). The specific combination and order can identify individual birds.

Bald eagles have been seen in scattered areas of the marsh. Watch for them in flight over the marsh or perched in trees or on fence posts.

Great horned owls are nesting and many seem to have hatched although the young are not yet visible.

Northern harriers continue their aerial displays and can be seen dancing in the air from nearly any county road on the area.

Red-tailed hawks have begun sitting in their nests in several locations. Watch for Swainson’s hawks to return in the next couple weeks.

 
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