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.
American white pelicans nest and raise young near colonial nesting sites on small islands in permanent wetlands on Upper Klamath, Lower Klamath and Clear Lake National Refuges.
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.
Black terns are found primarily in permanent marsh habitats during the summer
breeding season. They nest in isolated marshes on Upper Klamath Lake,
Lower Klamath and Klamath Marsh Refuges.
Boneparte’s gulls are are seen during the spring and summer near large
expanses of open water in the Upper Klamath and Tule Lake Basins.
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.
Canvasbacks are seen in deep water marshes during the spring and fall migration
periods. Small numbers of canvasbacks nest in the Upper Klamath Basin watershed.
Caspian and Forster’s terns may be observed flying over wetlands during the
spring and summer months. These are the two most common terns found in
the Upper Klamath Basin watershed.
Caspian terns are present during the summer months breeding on small islands
on Upper Klamath Lake, as well as Lower Klamath and Clear Lake Refuges.
Clark’s grebes like the similar and more abundant western grebe, are a common
breeding species found in deep wetlands during the spring, summer and fall.
Courtship displays of Clark’s and western grebes may occur
at any time during the spring or summer (most often mid-May).
The displays are seen in almost all deep water habitats.
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.
Eared grebes are a common breeding species in permanent marshes throughout
the Upper Klamath and Tule Lake Basins. They are commonly seen during the
spring and summer months.
Eared grebes construct floating nests and lay 3 to 5 eggs which hatch from
late June to Mid-July. While they are observed throughout the year, their
numbers decrease during the winter.
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.
Great egrets are commonly observed in a variety of wetland habitats.
Seen year-round,they are common most of the year with
numbers decreasing sharply during the winter.
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.
Male lesser scaups are a common medium-sized black and white diving duck
observed primarily in deep water wetlands of the Upper Klamath Basin watershed.
They may be seen any month of the year.
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.
Lesser scaup are one of the most common diving ducks that breed in the Upper
Klamath Basin watershed. Their numbers increase during the migration
periods and winter months.
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.
Redheads are a common duck that is found year-round in deep water and permanent
marshes. Their numbers decrease somewhat in the winter months.
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-billed gulls are an abundant and widespread year-round residents found in
all habitats that are near open water, marshes, rivers and other wetlands
in the Upper Klamath and Tule Lake Basins.
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.
Ruddy ducks are most common during the fall, winter and spring in deep
water marshes and wetlands. They nest in relatively small numbers and broods of young
may be observed during spring and summer.
Ruddy ducks are observed year-round in deep water wetlands in the Upper Klamath and
Tule Lake Basins. Although a breeding species, they are most numerous in the
late fall and winter months.
Soras are a rail species that nests and feeds exclusively in dense cattail and
bulrush marshes. Since they seldom leave dense cattail cover they
are more often heard than seen.
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 are most common in the late fall, winter and spring months.
Neck collars allow researchers to track seasonal movements,
document habitat use and longevity of the swans.
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, during the spring and summer months, make daily trips from
colonial nesting sites to feed in shallow wetlands and flooded pastures.
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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