Wildlife Biologist Brian Ferry suggests visitors to Central Oregon visit Rimrock Springs Wildlife Management Area, a wildlife oasis. Located along highway 26 between Prineville and Madras, the area has been developed to provide habitat for waterfowl, upland game birds, songbirds and raptors—look for golden eagles, red-tailed hawks and great horned owls. The rich insect life attracts bats, swallows and nighthawks.
There is a has a interpretive trail (with an ADA-approved portion) and two blinds where the public can view a variety of waterfowl, upland game birds, raptors, shorebirds and large and small mammals—often including mule deer, pronghorn (antelope), beaver, muskrat, jackrabbits, cottontail rabbits, round squirrels and chipmunks.
Plan to stay an hour or two and it’s a good idea to apply your insect repellent. A lot of those birds are there for the bugs!
Big horned Sheep – Courtesy ODFW
White-headed Woodpecker - Courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Visit the High Desert Museum in Bend to learn about the Museum's more than 100 wildlife critters—porcupines, golden eagles, owls, bats, lizards, snakes and spiders. There are daily shows given by wildlife experts. Here’s a great one to catch:
11:00 a.m. Desert Dwellers: Swooping raptors and mammals and reptiles up close!
The following viewing opportunities remain good in June.
CAMP SHERMAN AREA:
Check out some of the recent forest burn areas around Santiam Pass and the Metolius area to see several woodpecker species including black-backed and three-toed woodpeckers, white-headed woodpeckers and red-naped sapsuckers. Green-tailed towhees and fox sparrows are common understory species where bitterbrush and manzanita occur.
For birdwatchers, the white-headed woodpecker is one of the most sought-after western birds. It is a striking species with a white head and throat and white wing patches that contrast with a coal-black body.
The Prineville Reservoir Wildlife Management area offers opportunities to see a wide variety of waterfowl, some shorebirds and raptors including bald and golden eagles and osprey.
Visitors to Lower Deschutes Wildlife Area can see California bighorn sheep on a regular basis upstream of Harris Canyon (RM 12). Access will be by boat or bicycle. Sheep can also be seen on the Deschutes River down the Mack’s Canyon Road down stream of Shearer’s Falls with a major lambing grounds at Beavertail. The Wildlife Area is located 17 miles east of The Dalles. Directions
A lone male Rocky Mountain goat has taken up residence along I-84 east of The Dalles. It can generally be spotted south of the freeway between mile posts 90 and 93.
Rocky Mountain goats are native only to the rugged mountains of western North America. The presence of mountain goats in Oregon prior to European settlement is supported by archeological evidence in Hells Canyon. Rocky Mountain goats were apparently extirpated from Oregon prior to European settlement. Since that time ODFW staff has reintroduced the species into the Wallowa and Elkhorn Mountains where herds have been successfully established. It is estimated there are about 700 Rocky Mountain goats in Oregon―200 in the Elkhorn Mountains and 500 in Wallowa County, primarily in the Wallowa Mountains.