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Marsh Denizens: The sora and Virginia rails are quite common at Ladd Marsh, but seldom seen. The birds are very shy about coming out in the open and prefer to lurk in the dense cattails and sedges. Their calls are quite distinctive. If viewers can be still and patient, the birds do sneak out along the edges at times — especially when they are looking to feed their young. JIM WARD photos
Waterfowl congregate at marsh
Tule Lake Public Access Area and the Auto Route are open for the season.
The Glass Hill Unit is also open to public access. 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.
Waterfowl using the area include Canada goose, snow goose, greater white-fronted goose, northern pintail, American wigeon, ring-necked duck, mallard, gadwall, cinnamon teal, green-winged teal, northern shoveler and at least a few Eurasian wigeon. Shorebirds have included killdeer, black-necked stilt, greater yellowlegs and others.
Local sandhill cranes are nesting and a few have hatched. Soon the young may be visible as they feed in meadows with their parents.
A spotting scope or quality binoculars are important as the meadows are closed to entry and viewing is from the viewpoint or county roads.
There are also small groups of non-breeding sandhill cranes using the wildlife area.
Cranes can be seen from county roads in several locations.
Please 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 wren, black-capped chickadee, western meadowlark, savannah sparrow and song sparrow are singing.
Red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds are claiming territories and swallows can be seen over nearly every body of water on the marsh.
Common yellowthroats have returned and are singing their witchy-witchy-witchy song all over the area.
Red-tailed hawks are sitting in their nests in several locations And the Swainson’s hawks are claiming nests sites and beginning to build.
Osprey have returned and can be seen hunting over ponds on and near Ladd Marsh.
Wildlife viewers and anglers need a parking permit to park on the wildlife area.
The $7 daily or $22 annual permit can be purchased online or at an ODFW office that sells licenses or at a license sales agent.
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