Bird Lovers Set to Flock to La Grande for Annual Ladd Marsh Bird Festival

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Volunteer birding experts help visitors find and identify birds. (Photo: Cathy Nowak)

An action packed weekend is coming up in La Grande at the 13th annual Ladd Marsh Bird Festival, May 18-20, 2018. There is something for everyone, whether you’re an expert birder, new to bird watching, or are looking for family outdoor activities.

The festival opens Friday night with the Odd Strings, local musicians playing original songs about birds and birding at 7 p.m. Following the short concert is Wallowa County biologist and photographer Kendric Moholt with “In Search of the Crowbar – Discovering Mythical Creatures Across Planet Earth.”

Saturday activities begin at 6 a.m. with local birding experts at six birding stations around the marsh available until noon to help visitors find and identify birds. Services for the deaf are available; please call Ladd Marsh at 541-963-4954. A guided bird walk is set for the afternoon, and The Plantworks will be on hand to discuss native plants for the local area.

Children’s Saturday activities, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. include bird house building, coloring a canvas tote, and the Junior Birder program. Youth completing the Junior Birder program earn a patch and a field guide. These activities are centered at the Tule Lake registration area on Peach Road.

On and off-site field trips Friday, Saturday and Sunday are available for a fee. Main events are free but registration is required and festival goers must purchase a Wildlife Area Parking Permit from ODFW. Parking permits are available at ODFW License Agents, ODFW offices that sell licenses, and online. Registration allows visitors to explore portions of the Wildlife Area that are generally closed to the public, giving greater opportunities to see an abundance of ducks, geese, raptors, passerines and shore birds.

The festival is held at the height of spring migration and nesting in the Grand Ronde Valley and celebrates World Migratory Bird Day. Click here for the full schedule of events.

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area is primarily funded from hunters and the federal Pittman-Robertson Act.

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