Marmots, beavers and frogs oh my! Our high desert home has a copious array of animals and wildlife with signs of their existence everywhere.

As a vital migratory passage way, the Deschutes River offers both seasoned and novice birders a chance to see an amazing array of species. Over 20 bird boxes have been installed along the river for our twittering friends.

The dead trees are left in place whether in the water or upright as they are still vital homes for our resident wildlife and provide protection for our fish. Otters, muskrats and beavers transverse this waterway for work and play with an easy to view, existing beaver dam just before the Colorado Bridge. Often seen circling high overhead or perched on tall trees and telephone poles around the Old Mill District, the Osprey or fish hawk migrates from Mexico to Oregon in the spring and back again in the fall.

Taking its place each Winter is the bald eagle, ofter searching for its next meal and gracing our sky’s in a beautiful silhouette. The Oregon Spotted Frog was just placed on the endangered species list in September of 2014, and the drainage pond by Tumalo Creek Canoe & Kayak is being consistently managed to ensure a safe habitat and the frogs are banded and tracked as part of ongoing studies to learn more about these vital amphibians.

Also in residence at the pond are a pair of nesting Virginia Rails who have so far had 4 clutches of chicks. Look for them early next summer darting along the shore in search of yummy insects.

The resident Rock Chucks – otherwise known as marmots – make their appearance in the late spring for a short season. They munch incessantly on grass and flowers in preparation for a long hibernation which can start in late August to early September. We hope this Ask Chelsea #HowtoBend video will inspire you to pause for a longer look for glimpses of the wondrous wildlife that teems around us.