American bitterns are an uncommon deep water marsh species more often seen than
heard because of their reclusive nature and cryptic coloration. Most leave the
Upper Klamath Basin watershed during the winter.
Barrow’s Goldeneye is a rare diving duck of deep water wetlands. Although they may be
observed year-round and are known to nest near Diamond Lake, they are most often seen
in the winter and spring on the Link River.
Bufflehead are very common in many Upper Klamath Basin wetlands during
the late fall,winter and spring. They are much less common during
the breeding season, nesting in tree cavities near deep water wetlands.
Common goldeneye ducks are most commonly seen in the lake fall and
winter in deep water marshes and wetlands. In the Upper Klamath Basin
they are easily observed along the Link River and refuge wetlands.
Forster’s terns are commonly found in nearly all wetland habitats including
irrigation canals and large open water bodies. They are seen in the Upper
Klamath and Tule Lake Basins during the spring and summer months.
Hooded mergansers, in small numbers, are found in deep water wetlands during the
fall, winter and spring. They are a rare nesting species in the northern part of the
Upper Klamath Basin where they nest in tree cavities.
Female lesser scaup may be identified from other female diving ducks by the
white patch of feathers surrounding the bill. They typically lay 6-15 eggs in nests
found in small marshes with islands or trees.
Marsh wrens are almost exclusively seen in emergent cattail and bulrush vegetation at
the edges of shallow and deep water marshes. They are found year-round
with numbers decreasing during the winter months.
Marsh wrens construct a football shaped nest with a side entrance attached to
emergent marsh vegetation (usually cattails). Nestlings feed on insects found
in the marsh shortly after they hatch in May or June.
Redheads broods, while not as common as some other ducks such as mallards and
gadwall, may be seen on deep water marshes on Lower Klamath Refuge
and Upper Klamath Lake. Redheads typically lay 9 to 14 eggs.
Ring-billed & Boneparte’s Gulls are two gull species seen near large expanses
of open water in the Upper Klamath and Tule Lake Basins. While ring-billed gulls are
seen year-round, Boneparte’s gulls are present during the spring and summer.
Ring-necked ducks are seen year-round in deep water habitats with numbers
increasing during the spring and fall migrations. During the spring
and summer they are most often seen on the Klamath Marsh Refuge.
Ross’s geese are seen in large mixed flocks with snow geese during the spring
and fall migrations. They are commonly seen in large flocks on or near
the Klamath Wildlife Area south of Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Sora are fairly common, but rarely seen since they usually stay in the dense
cattail and bulrush stands they inhabit in the Upper Klamath Basin watershed.
Their numbers decrease during the winter months.
Tri-colored blackbirds are near the northern extent of their range in the Upper
Klamath Basin. They are locally common during the spring, summer and early fall,
but are rarely observed during the winter.
Tundra swans (seen in this photo with a single rare Eurasian Whooper swan)
are often seen during the winter months in the tens of thousands in the
flooded farm fields and open wetlands on Lower Klamath Refuge.
Virginia rails, like soras, are fairly common in bulrush and cattail marshes in the
Upper Klamath Basin watershed. Their numbers decrease in the winter
when insects and invertebrates are more difficult to find.
Western Grebes are distinguished from Clark’s grebes by the black crown which
extends below the eye and the drab coloration of the bill. They are
common in deepwater wetlands during the spring, summer and fall.
White-faced ibis establish colonial nesting sites in extensive stands of hard
stem bulrush on Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge. They most often
feed in large, loosely organized flocks in flooded pastures.
Yellow-headed blackbirds commonly nest in deep water wetlands with dense
cattail and bulrush stands. They are uncommon during the winter when
small numbers may be seen in large flocks of red-winged blackbirds.
To see more photos of Deepwater species
Cropland and pasture habitats are found mostly at the lower elevations (4,100-4,200) within the central and southern portions of the Upper Klamath Basin watershed. This category includes diverse areas within the Upper Klamath and Tule Lake Basins such as towns, smaller communities, rural residential areas, farms and ranches. The wildlife associated with these habitats have adapted to living close to human development and activities.
Riparian Habitat is located along the shoreline of rivers, lakes and wetlands within the Upper Klamath Basin watershed. Vegetation found in riparian habitats includes deciduous trees such as willow, cottonwood and aspen which are found along the shore lines of these water bodies. Many bird species use riparian habitats as travel corridors during the spring and fall migrations. Other birds may use riparian locations as favored sites for nesting and breeding.
Abundant shallow wetlands are found in the Upper Klamath and Tule Lake Basins. These wetlands have historically had water during the winter and spring, but tended to dry out during the summer and fall. Today, most wildlife areas and
refuges manage seasonal wetlands using water control structures to mimic this yearly wet and dry cycle. Wading shorebirds and dabbing ducks are among the diverse wildlife species commonly seen in seasonal marshes and wetlands.
Juniper/Sagebrush habitat is found most extensively in the southern and eastern portions of the Upper Klamath Basin watershed. Both the Clear Lake area and Lava Beds National Monument have large expanse of this habitat. Plants found here include Western Juniper and several plants collectively known as sagebrush and rabbit brush.
High Elevation habitat are forests above 5,500 feet in the Upper Klamath and Tule Lake Basins consisting primarily of Douglas fir, western red cedar and true firs. These habitats are found mostly in the Cascade and Siskiyou mountains. Popular travel destinations with these habitats include Crater Lake National Park, Medicine Lake, Lake of the Woods and the Pacific Crest Trail. Wildlife species found in mountain meadows, streams and lakes as well as those seen above timberline are included in this habitat grouping.
Ponderosa and Lodgepole Pine habitat are usually found above juniper/sagebrush vegetation and at a lower elevation than Douglas fir and true fir habitats within the Upper Klamath Basin watershed. Many cavity nesting bird species use the Ponderosa/lodgepole pine habitat, particularly where past fires have created openings and dead snags. Several species of woodpeckers, nuthatches and flycatchers are commonly observed within this habitat.
Cropland and pasture habitat are found mostly at the lower elevations (4,100-4,200) within the central and southern portions of the Upper Klamath Basin watershed. This category includes diverse areas within the Upper Klamath and Tule Lake Basins such as towns, smaller communities, rural residential areas, farms and ranches. The wildlife associated with these habitats have adapted to living close to human development and activities.
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