Resident ducks and geese are to pairing up in preparation for nesting along the Crooked River and Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Management Area which is home to a variety of shorebirds and nesting birds of prey. The access road along the north side of Prineville Reservoir through the area opens for motorized access on April 15 and offers great opportunities for viewing, hiking and camping.
Directions to the wildlife area: From Prineville, take Paulina Highway 1.7 miles. Turn right onto Juniper Canyon Road at the Prineville Reservoir State Park sign. Take Juniper Canyon Road 12.5 miles to Prineville Reservoir State Park. Access to the wildlife area is a primitive dirt road in the northeast corner of the state park. Visitors also may continue southeast along Paulina Highway for 15 miles (from Prineville) and turn right at the bottom of the hill after passing Eagle Rock near milepost 14 onto the signed wildlife area primitive roadway. For more information, visit ODFW’s Web site.
Spring is here, and neotropical migrants are right behind it. This is a great time of year to take a hike in the Columbia River gorge. The gorge is host to many migrant songbirds in the spring, as well as a great place to find wildflowers and other wildlife. The Mosier Twin Tunnels provides a great hard surface trail to avoid the spring mud. For more information visit Oregon State Parks Web site.
The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center is now hosting a raptor interpretive program on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays except holidays. Visitors will get to see the Center’s Bald Eagle up close and personal, as well as learn about other raptors in the program. For more information on the raptor program.
White River Wildlife Area
Elk are still near the feed sites on the area. The best viewing opportunity is generally found in and around the headquarters of the wildlife area or from the view site off of the 48 road.
Visitors to the area can see a wide variety of birds, including Lewis’ Woodpeckers, Cooper’s hawks and pileated woodpecker’s. Deer are using the feeders throughout the area. Visitors are asked to maintain some distance between themselves and wintering deer to reduce disturbance to the animals.
From The Dalles, travel 34 miles south on Hwy. 197 to the blinking light at Tygh Valley. Turn right into Tygh Valley and follow the signs to Wamic on Wamic Market Road. Continue straight ahead on Dodson Road rather than follow the sharp curve. Continue on Dodson Road through three 90-degree turns. Turn left on the gravel road 1/4 mile past the last curve, and continue 1-1/2 miles to the cattleguard and area signs. The wildlife area headquarters is located 1/2 mile past the cattleguard. For more information, visit ODFW Web site.
Lower Deschutes Wildlife Area
Many different species frequent the Deschutes Canyon at this time of year with opportunities to view a wide variety of waterbirds, passerines, deer and bighorn sheep. Bighorn sheep are a common site in the canyon. One of the most popular spots to view Bighorn rams is across the river from Jones campground, along the Mack’s canyon access road.
Many different bird species are present in the Deschutes Wildlife Area, including osprey, kingfishers, great blue herons and waterfowl. ODFW’s Lower Deschutes Wildlife Area is located in The Dalles. Directions and more information about the Lower Deschutes Wildlife Area.