The Ladd Marsh Bird Festival is an uncrowded, non-competitive birding opportunity for the whole family. The Ladd Marsh Bird Festival is held at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area located about 7 miles south of La Grande, Oregon. The event is scheduled at the height of spring migration and nesting in the Grande Ronde Valley and to commemorate International Migratory Bird Day. Few, if any, places in Union County have a more diverse bird population than can be found at the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area. Over 200 species of birds either visit or live permanently at Ladd Marsh. Only on this weekend, birders have the opportunity to explore areas of the wildlife area generally closed to the public providing increased opportunities to see an abundance of ducks, geese, raptors, passerines and shore birds.While many birders prefer to explore the area on their own, a number of birding stations will be staffed by local birders on Saturday to assist novice birders in finding and identifying birds. Also included in the event are evening presentations, field trips and a kid’s corner where young people can build a birdhouse, sign up to become a Junior Birder or participate in other fun activities. Registration for the Bird Festival is free but is required. Registrants receive a Festival Passport which serves as a permit to be in the area. Registration for field trips and workshops requires payment of a small fee. For more information see www.friendsofladdmarsh.org and click on the Bird Festival tab.