Viewing Report for April 20, 2012 / ODFW
Look for eagles near cattle
LADD MARSH WILDLIFE AREA
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 a few Eurasian wigeon. Shorebirds have begun to arrive including black-necked stilt, greater yellowlegs and others.
Local sandhill cranes have begun nesting and single birds can often be seen feeding in meadows while their mate incubates the eggs. There are also small groups of non-breeding sandhill cranes using 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.
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.
Red-tailed hawks have begun sitting in their nests in several locations. Watch for Swainson’s hawks to return soon. Osprey have returned and can be seen hunting over ponds on and near Ladd Marsh. Their usual nest platform west of Highway 203 is currently occupied by Canada goose incubating eggs so if the geese don’t hatch soon, the ospreys may select a new platform for their nest.
Bald eagles are common along the Wallowa River from Minam Canyon to Wallowa Lake. Bald eagles can also be observed near domestic cattle with new born calves. Golden eagles are common in the Wallowa Valley year round. Eagles can be observed along river corridors, Wallowa Lake, and often in agricultural areas where cattle are being fed.
Elk can often be observed along the Zumwalt Road near Findley Buttes.
Herons are common and can be observed throughout the Wallowa Valley feeding along creeks and rivers.
Prairie falcon, red-tailed hawk, Northern harrier, rough-legged, Swainson’s and ferruginous hawks, as well as a variety of owls can be observed throughout Wallowa Valley and Zumwalt prairie. Most raptors can be easily observed from county roads. A good pair of binoculars will improve viewing opportunities.
Waterfowl species such as Canada geese, mallards, widgeon, and pintails can be observed on Wallowa Lake and throughout the Wallowa Valley feeding in agricultural fields. On open water bodies ring-necked ducks, scaup, goldeneye and bufflehead are common species to observe.
Mule and white-tailed deer are common in agricultural areas adjacent to Highway 82. Animals can be observed during early morning and late evening.
People willing to drive down the rough Imnaha River Road will often observe bighorn sheep north of Cow Creek near Cactus Mountain.