The annual Ladd Marsh Bird Festival is an uncrowded birding opportunity for the whole family. The Ladd Marsh Bird Festival is held at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area located about 7 miles south of La Grande, Oregon. Partners in presenting the Bird Festival include Friends of Ladd Marsh and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and others.
- Registration for the Bird Festival is free but is required.
- Registrants receive a Festival Passport which serves as a permit to be in the area.
- Registration for field trips requires payment of a fee.
The Bird Festival is scheduled at the height of spring migration and nesting in the Grande Ronde. Few, if any, places in Union County have a more diverse bird population than can be found at the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area. Over 200 species of birds either visit or live permanently at Ladd Marsh. During past Festivals upwards of 150 species of birds have been seen over the weekend.
ONLY ON BIRD FESTIVAL WEEKEND do birders have the opportunity to explore areas of the wildlife area generally closed to the public, thus providing increased opportunities to see an abundance of ducks, geese, raptors, passerines and shore birds.
While many birders prefer to explore the area on their own, several birding stations will be staffed by local birders on Saturday to assist novice birders in finding and identifying birds. Also included in the event are an evening social and field trips to some of the best birding places in Union County.