From Powell Butte (see above), travel north on SW Williams Road for three miles and the road makes a right angle turn to the east. Stay on this road which now becomes Houston Lake Road. Go east for 1.25 miles and you will see the lake. This is referred to as “Little Houston Lake” by the locals. “Big Houston Lake” is surrounded by private land and not viewable. “Houston Marsh” is between the two lakes and is also on private land and should not be accessed unless accompanied by Chuck Gates (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org). “Little Houston Lake” is a private irrigation pond so please bird only from the road. There is a pull-off near the west side of the lake.Directions
Habitat and Birds
In summer this is a great place to see Yellow-headed Blackbird, Marsh Wren, American Bitterns (maybe the only place in Central Oregon that hosts this species annually), Wilson’s Snipe, Virginia Rails, and Sora. Fall migrant waterfowl are abundant and this is a good spot for fall shorebirds (scope needed). Winter raptors are abundant. A regular flock of American White Pelicans reside here every summer. Occasionally, Black, Caspian and, Forster’s Terns are found in migration. Waterfowl numbers, including Canada, Cackling, Ross’s, Snow, and White-fronted Geese and swans build up here in early spring. Depending on water levels, there may be shorebirds present. Some of Crook County’s most unusual bird sightings have come from this little pond. Unusual species seen here include Whimbrel, American Golden-plover, Black-bellied Plover, Snowy Plover, Marbled Godwit, Trumpeter Swan, Eurasian Wigeon, Horned Grebe, Great Egret, Black-crowned Night-heron, Red-shouldered Hawk, Sanderling, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Franklin’s Gull, Common Tern, Short-eared Owl, Purple Martin, and Tricolored Blackbird.
Nearby Birding Locations
- Prineville Sewer Ponds - THE PRINEVILLE SEWER PONDS ARE NO LONGER ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ENTER THIS FACILITY! WE HOPE THIS WILL BE A TEMPORARY SITUATION SO WE ARE STILL INCLUDING THIS IMPORTANT LOCATION IN THE SITE GUIDE. WATCH FOR FUTURE UPDATES.
- Powell Butte Area
- O'Neil Valley
- Elliott Lane
- Crooked River Wetlands Complex