Feeling a little blue about summer winding down? Never fear – Peeps are hitting the marsh and the birding is great! Join Mike Mahoney for a special episode of the First Saturday Bird Walk on Sep. 2. Mike’s a great teacher, and he knows his peeps! The trip leaves HQ on Pierce Road at 7:00am. Bring a spotting scope for best views if you have one; Mike’ll have one to share if not. To whet your appetite, here’s a photo taken on Ladd Marsh by Laura Mahrt a few days ago.
Moth night returns to Ladd Marsh this Thursday, July 27, at 8:30 pm! Join Professor Karen Antell at the White (Tan) barn on Foothill Road 0.25 mile south of the Foothill Road overlook (about 4 miles south of La Grande). We’ll have a brief slide show about moths as we wait for the flutterings to arrive under cover of darkness. Come prepared for an evening under the stars with a folding chair (optional), warm clothes, flashlight/headlamp, insect repellent, and camera. See you on the marsh!
Great Horned Owl
Only twenty-two days and counting until the twelfth annual Ladd Marsh Bird Festival begins! New birds are arriving by the day, including new clutches of downy geese and owls. Events kick off on Friday evening at the La Grande Senior Center, with registration, music, light refreshments, and program by “The Big Year” author, Mark Obmascik. Then we all hit the marsh early on Saturday morning for a full day of birding and educational activities for the entire family. All events are free of charge except for the guided field trips. Currently, Trips #1, #4, and #5 are filled. For more event information, visit the event pages here: http://friendsofladdmarsh.org/bird-festival-2/bird-festival/
See you all on the marsh in just three weeks!
The Field Trip Schedule for 2017 Ladd Marsh Bird Festival is now available! Early registration is encouraged, because popular trips may fill quickly. There is a nominal fee of $10.00 to reserve your space on any of the field trips. The fee for the painting workshop is $15.00 in order to cover the cost of materials. To register in advance for the Bird Festival or field trips, please download a registration form from the link below. Registration for the Bird Festival is FREE! Registration also will be available at the Friday evening presentation with Mark Obmascik and on Tule Lake on event day.
2017 Ladd Marsh Bird Festival Field Trips
Bird Festival Event and Field Trip Registration Form_2017
A complete schedule of events is available here:
2017 Ladd Marsh Bird Festival Schedule
We are getting excited for another great festival, with only 51 days and counting!
We have posted a short biography of Mark Obmascik to the Bird Festival 2017 Events page. Check it out and mark your calendar for what promises to be a fun presentation. The Bird Festival is May 19-21, 2017.
Join the Friends for a special evening of owl viewing/listening on Ladd Marsh this Friday, March 3. Mike Mahoney will lead the trip, leaving Ladd Marsh Headquarters at 59116 Pierce Road at 7:00 pm. Several owl species can often be heard at night on the marsh, including Great horned, Barn, Western screech, and Long-eared.
Great Horned Owl, Photo: Cathy Nowak
Current NOAA forecast is for a chance of showers and low of 36 degrees F. Be sure you are dressed warmly enough to remain comfortable while standing in the cold for periods of time while listening for owl calls. Warm footwear is highly recommended. Participants also might wish to bring a headlamp or flashlight. A headlamp with a red light setting is ideal, to avoid blinding other birders.
Ladd Marsh swallows may still be basking in the tropical warmth of Central America, but it won’t be long before they make their annual northward journey back to NE Oregon. We want to welcome them back to the marsh with clean and secure nest boxes so they can spend another summer gobbling up mosquitoes and other flying insects for themselves and their young families. Join the Friends as we clean and repair nest boxes around the marsh on Saturday, February 25, at 9:00 AM.
Meet at Ladd Marsh HQ 59116 Pierce Rd, at 9:00 AM (directions below). Participants will team up and receive an assignment for a route or group of bird houses to check and clean. Please dress for the weather and wear waterproof boots. Knee high boots will be an asset if you have them. Bring water and snacks if you wish. This activity usually takes a few hours. Participants will be given a permit to be on the area that is good for the whole day. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Directions to Ladd Marsh HQ:
From La Grande, take the Union Highway (203) to Pierce Rd (B&K Auto Salvage). Turn right (south) on Pierce. Continue for approximately 1 ¼ mile to HQ on the right.
From Union, turn left on Pierce Rd and follow above directions.
HQ can be reached from I-84 – Take exit 268 (Foothill Rd) then turn east. At the “T” with Pierce Rd, turn left (north). Continue about 1 1/2 mile to HQ on the left.
Mark Obmascik will be the featured speaker to kick off the 12th annual Ladd Marsh Bird Festival May 19, 2017. As some will know, Mark is the author of The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature and Fowl Obsession (Simon and Schuster 2004). You may also be familiar with the film adaptation of The Big Year starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. Mark’s presentation will be a mix of The Big Year and his second book, Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled – and Knuckleheaded – Quest for the Rocky Mountain High (Simon and Schuster 2009). This promises to be a very entertaining presentation and an excellent beginning for the Ladd Marsh Bird Festival. We will add information on field trips and other details as they become available to the Bird Festival section of this web site.
A few photos of sandhill crane capture on Ladd Marsh (2015 & 2016) have been added to the “Photos” page under the Sandhill Crane Research tab. We have also populated the “Maps” page with maps showing our birds’ general movements since fall 2015. You can check out Cathy’s slide show from her recent research presentation in Tennesee. “Our” sandhill cranes should be home in the next 3 weeks! Can’t wait to see our cranes back on the marsh!
It’s time for another year of First Saturday Bird Walks on the marsh with Mike. Tomorrow’s walk leaves Ladd Marsh Headquarters on Pierce Road at 10:00am. There may be some interesting winter birds to be seen, but be prepared for both cold temperatures and wind. Don’t forget to pick up your 2017 Oregon Wildlife Area parking permit. Let’s go birding! See you on the marsh in 2017!