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Huh? What’s this tour about? Go bird watching with Ducks Unlimited Biologist Chris Colson and Brenda Smith, Executive Director of the High Desert Partnership! Colson and Smith will help you gain a better understanding of the role the Harney Basin plays in the Pacific Flyway and the wetland/floodplain restoration efforts in the area, aimed at improving habitat for migratory birds. This tour moves through the Silvies River Floodplain with a stop at the Narrows (you can purchase lunch here!) on Malheur Lake, then travels to Sod House Dam on the Donner und Blitzen River and on to the historic Sod House Ranch to visit the colonial nesting great blue heron and winter roosting bald eagles. A short drive into the Blitzen Valley is also on the agenda.

The Harney Basin Wetlands Initiative, an effort umbrella under the High Desert Partnership, will be a subject of interest on this tour. The Initiative is a cooperate effort between conservation partners, local ranching families and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge – all working to build an understanding of how to manage the flood-irrigated wet meadows in the Harney Basin in a manner that reduces carp reintroduction, provides food for migrating water birds, and provides a sustainable economic return for ranching families. The Harney Basin is a critical stop on the Pacific Flyway and this cooperative effort will ensure it remains a healthy stopover for decades to come.

RESTORATION BIRDING | Saturday 4.7.18 | 8 AM - 3 PM

  • Full refunds before March 23. No refunds on or after March 23.

  • All tours depart from Burns High School. TRANSPORTATION IS PROVIDED – no caravanning or driving your own vehicles except for the llama tours and the overnight Sage-Grouse excursion that begins in Frenchglen. Please arrive early, check in at Bird Central (located in the gymnasium at Burns High School), and be prepared with your own amenities. Most tours travel to remote areas. Bring snacks, lunch and water, and dress for changing weather conditions - “fowl” weather gear and sturdy shoes or boots are advised. There may be long stretches between restroom stops and the birds will only be as visible as they choose! Tours depart at the scheduled time.


    Participants with limited mobility should contact the Harney County Chamber of Commerce prior to booking tours to assure accessibility and accommodations. Must be 10 years or older to participate unless otherwise noted in the tour description as “family friendly." Pre-registration is REQUIRED.

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