Animal of the Month: Ducks

If you were asked to name different ducks, how would you answer? If you said Daffy, Donald, or Darkwing, get ready to learn about the real-life ducks that inhabit central Oregon. (But also about Donald) Since there are so many varieties, we've picked a few of our favorites to feature this week.**

The male Wood Ducks are some of the most colorful in central Oregon donning green, orange blue, yellow, tan, and shiny black in their feathers. The female duck is much more subtle. These guys are mostly found building their nests in trees. 

Wood Duck. Photo from animalspot.net // click the picture to follow the link. 

Wood Duck. Photo from animalspot.net // click the picture to follow the link. 

Hooded Merganser. Photo from animalspot.net // click the picture to follow the link. 

Hooded Merganser. Photo from animalspot.net // click the picture to follow the link. 

Have you seen a Hooded Merganser? You can start looking next month! This is a "fish duck" that has some major diving skills. They have beaks that help them catch fish as well as special lenses on their eyes that help them see underwater. You can find them around Bend October through May. 

The Mallard is probably the most commonly known duck. Both males and females have white tails (a good hint to separate them from other ducks). Did you know that a group of mallards is called a sord? 

Bufflehead. Photo from birdnote.org // click the picture to follow the link. 

Bufflehead. Photo from birdnote.org // click the picture to follow the link. 

A very small duck with a very large head?? A Bufflehead! Find them in slower-moving or shallow water, these guys are tiny and adorable. The most interesting thing about buffleheads besides the name? They are some of the only ducks that return to their same mate year after year. We're talking to you, mallards. 

The bird everybody loves to hate: Canadian Geese. They slow traffic, they poop on your lawn, and they always travel in groups (which makes the first two characteristics even more offensive). You can find them and their long black necks by the river, crossing roads, or stumbling through golf courses throughout Bend. 

Canadian Goose honking and soaring.

Canadian Goose honking and soaring.

And finally, Oregon's favorite duck: Donald. Also known as "The Duck" or "The Fighting Duck." Through a special licensing agreement with Disney, the mascot for the Oregon Ducks is the cartoon himself: Donald Duck. History, and rumor has it that when a group of fisherman from Massachusetts nicknamed webfoots migrated to Oregon, the name stuck. Oregon teams were known as Webfoots from the late 1800s until about 1940. Ducks had long been associated with Oregon teams teams (because of their webbed feet) but Donald wasn't chosen as the official mascot until 1940. 

Walt Disney (right) wearing an Oregon Ducks jacket with Athletic Director Leo Harris. 

Walt Disney (right) wearing an Oregon Ducks jacket with Athletic Director Leo Harris. 

 

**All of the information from this post has been learned from LeeAnn Kriegh's The Nature of Bend. You can buy your own copy in our office

 

What's in a Name?

Have you ever visited a new city and wondered about how street names or buildings got their names? They're like a tiny window into the history of an area. They can tell us so much if we're willing to listen. This week we'd like to share some of the history of Bend via the names of a couple of favorite spots. 

Dr. John Strong Newberry, a naturalist, came central Oregon in 1858 with the US Army to survey the land for railroads. Because of his extensive work, the Newberry Volcanic Monument was dedicated to him in 1903. Interestingly, while Newberry was mapping railroads, Cheif Paulina was leading raids against groups like Newberry's in the area. Paulina Lake and Paulina Peak are both named after him. Paulina was a prominent Paiute warrior known for his guerrilla tactics. You can visit all of these places on our Volcano Tour

Paulina Falls at the Newberry Caldera

Paulina Falls at the Newberry Caldera

Mt. Bachelor Chair Lift

If you've ever enjoyed carving through fresh powder on the slopes of Mt. Bachelor, you should probably say a thank you to Bill Healy. He had a dream to make Mt. Bachelor a ski resort, and his dream came to life in 1958. It has grown substantially since those early days and now boasts more than 10 chair lifts and 4 lodges. On your way to the mountain you may cross Bill Healey Bridge on Reed Market. The beach under the bridge is also a great place for an afternoon picnic! (Don't forget to buy your winter Mt. Bachelor tickets before prices go up after September 30th!) 

Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway

If you're headed up to the mountains, you'll find yourself on Century Drive. What used to be a migratory path for elk and deer is now a paved scenic byway that will lead you to some of our favorite spots in the area. Before it was paved in 1995, Century Drive (get it? 100 miles), or Cascade Lakes Highway was a 100 mile dirt logging road that looped from Bend to the mountains, to Crescent and then back to Bend on Highway 97. 

Alexander Drake left Minnesota and traveled west in a covered wagon in 1883. When they saw the beauty of the Deschutes and the remarkable mountain views, like many of us, they decided they had to stay. Drake was a developer and organizer responsible for starting much of Bend's modernization. If you're hungry or in need of a good view, or just feeling particularly historical, visit Drake Park or Drake Restaurant downtown.

If you like baseball, make time for a visit to historic Vince Genna Stadium. It opened in 1964 and was later named after its builder, Bend's Parks and Rec Department director, and former American Legion coach, Vince Genna. Be sure to check out the stadium and the Elks next season!

 

Oh and Skeleton Cave... you may be able to guess why it's named what it is... but we won't give that one away. Join us for a cave tour and learn the history! 

Are there any other names of streets or places in Bend that have you scratching your head? Be sure to ask!

Oregon Volcanoes

Did you know that Oregon is home to 19 major volcanoes?! A quick rundown on the types of volcanoes found in Oregon:

  1. Stratovolcano: Think Mt. St Helens and your standard science experiment of making a volcano. Stratovolcanoes are the most common type - making up about 60% of the Earth's volcanoes.
  2. Cinder Cones: Form around a vent, they're symmetrical, and most have a bowl-shaped crater at the top of them. 
  3. Shield Volcano: Large and low profile. Think of a warrior's shield lying on the ground. The super fluid lava that erupts travels farther than stratovolcano blasts. 
  4. Complex Volcano: Changes in the vent's location make it a complex volcano. 
  5. Volcanic Field: Areas with 10-100 volcanoes containing lava flows and cinder cones. 
  6. Caldera: The top of the volcano erupts and collapses leaving a large crater. Oregon's only national park, Crater Lake, is a caldera. Read more about Crater Lake (and the National Park Anniversary) on last week's blog post! 

How many of Oregon's volcanoes have you been to?? 

  1. Mount Hood
  2. Jefferson
  3. Blue Lake Crater
  4. Sand Mountain
  5. Mount Washington
  6. Belknap
  7. North Sister
  8. South Sister
  9. Broken Top
  10. Bachelor
  11. Newberry
  12. Davis Lake
  13. Devils Garden 
  14. Squaw Ridge
  15. Four Craters
  16. Cinnamon Butte
  17. Jordan Craters
  18. Diamond Craters
  19. Crater Lake 

And now! Take a look at our Volcano Tour at the Newberry Caldera!