Hells Canyon Scenic Byway > Events > Ladd Marsh Bird Festival Begins May 15

The Bird Festival takes place at Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area near La Grande, Oregon. A Community Celebration of International Migratory Bird Day, the Ladd Marsh Bird Festival is an uncrowded, non-competitive birding opportunity for the whole family. Bird Festival 2015 kicks off on Friday evening, May 15, with music, a wine tasting and a presentation about Great Gray Owls by Harry Fuller, President of the Board of Directors of Klamath Bird Observatory in Ashland, Oregon, and co-author of a soon-to-be-released book on Great Gray Owls in Washington-Oregon-California. He regularly blogs about birds at:www.atowhee.wordpress.com.

Participants in the Bird Festival may pre-register for all weekend events on Friday evening. Birding will continue throughout the weekend with staffed birding stations on Ladd Marsh on Saturday morning and guided field trips to a variety of locations around the area Saturday and Sunday.

Scheduled at the height of spring migration and nesting in the Grande Ronde Valley, the event commemorates International Migratory Bird Day. Few, if any, places in Union County have a more diverse bird population than can be found at the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area, where over 200 species of birds either visit or live permanently.

ONLY ON THIS WEEKEND, birders have the opportunity to explore portions of the wildlife area generally closed to the public, providing increased chances to see an abundance of ducks, geese, raptors, passerines and shore birds.

While many birders prefer to explore the area on their own, a number of 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 evening presentations, field trips and a kid’s corner where young people can build a birdhouse, sign up to become a Junior Birder or participate in other fun activities. Registration is required but is free. Find more about the event at www.friendsofladdmarsh.org and click here for a full schedule of activities.

An added attraction during the festival is the Ladd Marsh Bird Festival’s Plein Air event, where area artists set up their easels and paint at various locations throughout the wildlife area. Watch as the artists interpret what they are viewing using a variety if styles and media.

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 Birdathon include the Eastern Oregon University Biology Club, Friends of Ladd Marsh, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Grande Ronde Model Watershed, Union County Tourism and a number of local businesses.


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