Oregon's Willamette Valley Wildlife Report: Birds of March, Spring
(Eugene, Oregon) - The southern parts of the Willamette Valley are showing much promise for bird watchers this time of year. According to the latest report from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), some spots around Eugene and Corvallis are excellent for checking out geese, waterfowl and raptors – along with some nice perks for wildlife photographers at one refuge and park. (Above: near Eugene)
At the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area near Springfield, flights of geese can be observed at Fern Ridge Lake arriving every evening through the winter migration season - about the end of March.
“A good vantage point at sunset is the Royal Avenue parking lot,” ODFW said. “Royal Avenue and the trail to the Fisher Butte viewing blind remain open all day every day year round.”
ODFW suggests checking out the the recently completed Caspian tern nesting island at the park. There are an estimated 58,000 Canada geese that are using the lake as an evening roost site.
“When the flocks arrive at dark (and depart at sunrise), it is a great sight,” ODFW said.
The periodic closures of some sections of the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area will end this week, leaving all of it back open again – all the time.
Also in the Eugene area, the 150-acre network of ponds, sloughs, and waterways near Valley River Center called the Delta Ponds has many kinds of waterfowl and raptors these days.
ODFW said with the higher waters now is a good time to see beaver. Best viewing time is around sunset and sunrise.
“When viewing wildlife, please remember to be respectful and try not to disturb the animals’ natural behaviors,” ODFW said. “Sometimes, the best way to view animals is from inside your vehicle as to not frighten the birds/animals away.“
Near Corvallis, the EE Wilson Wildlife Area is quite promising for spotting waterfowl, shorebirds and neotropical migrants that are beginning to arrive. The deciduous trees there have no leaves, which allows better viewing.
For photographers, ODFW said that starting April 1 the photography blind in the Wildlife Area will be available for use. Staff will feed daily so there will be good photo opportunities for waterfowl including mallards, wood duck, hooded merganser, ring-necked duck, western Canada goose. Broods are common. Snipe and other shorebirds are periodically seen. Call the office to make a reservation, (541) 745-5334