Wildlife Research

Shorebirds and Drought in Eastern Oregon

Throughout eastern Oregon and the Intermountain West migrating and nesting shorebirds depend on saline and freshwater lakes, playas, and nearby wetlands for refueling during migration and for breeding. For example, Wilson’s Phalarope use saline lakes throughout the region as stopover habitat.

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Follow That Swan!

Last month, I reported on our capture of seven Trumpeter Swans on Benson Pond and fitting them with GPS-GSM neck collars to track their migration. Five of the seven are still in the south Blitzen Valley and two are on the move, as detailed below.

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A Trumpeter Swan Mystery Studied

Numbers of migrant Trumpeter Swans moving through eastern Oregon have increased dramatically over the last two decades, particularly at Malheur Refuge and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (ODFW) Summer Lake Wildlife Area. We want to learn more about the origins of these trumpeters and to identify their breeding, stopover, and wintering sites.

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White-faced Ibis Project Update

What has been a surprise is the durability of the birds and transmitters. When starting a pilot study on a new species with new capture and attachment techniques, there are many unknowns, and it is difficult to predict how things will go – they have gone exceptionally well. I can confidently say that white-faced ibis will be critical in guiding wetland conservation in the West.  

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