Departs from: Malheur Refuge Headquarters, Crane’s Nest Store – 36391 Sodhouse Ln, Princeton, OR, 97721
Named for Malheur’s first “game protector”, George Benson, Benson Pond provides access to a diversity of habitat types, many of which are associated with the Civilian Conservation Corps era. Benson Pond provides open water for viewing waterfowl including duck species, swans, and geese; emergent vegetation good for finding Marsh Wrens, Sora, and the occasional mink; and the CCC era willows and homestead era cottonwoods provide ample opportunities for finding Great Horned Owls, a variety of passerines, and as a migrant trap the fairly regular appearance of wayward passerines. This tour leaves Malheur HQ at 8:00 and will provide approximately 1.5 hours of birding the .75 mile trail with Tara Lemezis. Tara is the Assistant Director of Adult Learning & Engagement at Bird Alliance of Oregon and has birding at Malheur for nearly a decade and has been leading trips to Malheur for Portland Audubon since 2019. VAN-GUIDED (you ride with us).