Evening grosbeaks are an uncommon year-round resident and are often seen
in loose flocks. In addition to coniferous forests, they may be seen in
residential areas in years when seed crops are scarce at higher elevations.
Evening grosbeaks feed on pine and fir seeds and breed in open conifer stands.
They move into the lower elevations some winters, apparently to search for food.
Great gray owls nest in mature trees near meadows where a supply of rodents are
available. They are a rare resident species that is found primarily in the
northern portion of the Upper Klamath Basin watershed.
Great gray owls lay two to five eggs in nests which are located in mixed stands
of Douglas fir, lodgepole and Ponderosa pine. Nearby meadows provide areas
for owls to hunt for rodents to feed nestlings.
Rock wrens, as their name implies, are seldom seen far from rocky habitats
in the Upper Klamath Basin watershed. This uncommon species is seen in lava rock fields
and scree covered slopes in high elevations.
Williamson’s sapsuckers are an uncommon breeding species found in high
elevation forests of pine and other conifers in the Upper Klamath Basin watershed.
Their numbers decrease during the winter months.
Elk are year-round residents in the forested areas in the Upper Klamath
Basin watershed. They prefer forests near meadows or marshes which serve
as prime feeding locations for these large browsing mammals.
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.
Deep water and permanent marshes are found in the Upper Klamath and Tule Lake Basins. Habitat includes Klamath, Williamson, Wood, Sprague, and Lost Rivers; Upper Klamath , Clear and Tule Lakes, many smaller deep wetlands
and permanent marshes. Fish eating species such as grebes,pelicans, gulls, terns and diving ducks use these wetlands. The vegetation growing in these wetlands
(primarily cattail and bulrush stands which are also called “tules”) provide habitat for rails, white-faced ibis, egrets, herons, yellow-headed black birds to name only a few.
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.
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.
©2014 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.