Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area Weekend after Mother’s Day www.friendsofladdmarsh.org/bird-festival-2
The annual family-friendly Ladd Marsh Bird Festival celebrates birdwatching activities, the diversity of birds, and the excellent wildlife habitat at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s 6,000-acre Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area a few miles southeast of La Grande. Scheduled to coincide with the peak of spring migration, the event provides a terrific opportunity for birders both novice and expert to view copious numbers of birds that stop at the marsh and surrounding areas—and during the weekend festival, participants enjoy access to portions of the wildlife area normally closed to the public.
Ladd Marsh Bird Festival La Grande – USA Festivals Photo Gallery
Hosted by the all-volunteer nonprofit Friends of Ladd Marsh along with numerous agency and business partners, the festival begins Friday evening with a presentation by an expert guest speaker, and attendees can register for workshops and field trips then or any time during the weekend (the festival is free). The Friday evening kickoff (at Union County Senior Center in La Grande) allows participants to peruse vendor booths, enjoy live music, meet festival volunteers, and plan weekend activities. To register for the festival, visit the Friends of Ladd Marsh website, which also includes a festival schedule and map.
On Saturday and Sunday, registration opens at 6 am at the Tule Lake Public Access site on Peach Road at the east side of wildlife area. Participants can visit six different birding stations set up at various prime locations and staffed by experts who help point out and identify various species and provide lots of interesting information. Volunteers also lead both
A Yellow-headed on- and offsite field trips to a variety of nearby Blackbkd at Ladd Marsh locations—in past years, offsite excursions have included visits to well-known birding hotspots such as Rhinehart Canyon north of Imbler and the Spring Creek Great Gray Owl Management Area west of La Grande. The Ladd Marsh Bird Festival features a variety of events specifically for children, including arts-and-crafts activities, such as birdhouse building, as well as a special Junior Birder Program in which kids can visit various educational stations, complete various activities, and earn a Junior Birder badge.
In addition to seeing abundant ducks and other waterfowl, festival attendees often enjoy glimpses of more secretive marsh inhabitants, such as American bitterns, Virginia rails, and sora rails, and with the festival scheduled for prime time during spring migration, birders often find many different species of songbirds, especially on field trips to outlying hotspots, such as Rhinehart Canyon.
Ontario Lions Park
First Saturday in June www.ontariochamber.com
As unlikely as it may seem, the far-eastern town of Ontario annually hosts one the state’s most interesting and educational cultural festivals. On the first Saturday of each June, the America’s Global Village Festival brings together a host of diverse cultures, all of which have helped make America the multicultural wonderland of the world. Hosted by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, this kaleidoscopic event features authentic cultural villages—
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