Ontario Sewer Ponds

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Ontario State Recreation Site

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Malheur River

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Snake River (Near Farewell Bend)

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Ontario Airport

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Malheur Butte

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Love Reservoir

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Off I-84, take exit 374 and turn west on Hwy 30 (OR 201). Shortly after the exit, look for the Tony Yturri Memorial Beltline. Take the beltline west for about a mile and look for Washington Drive. Turn right onto Washington Drive and go 1.2 miles past several curves to the entrance of the sewage ponds. The office is open weekdays. Driving access is no longer permitted. But after going into the office and signing into the visitor log in the blue 3 ring binder, you may walk inside the fence and on the dike roads. Be sure to sign out when you leave. Park at the office and walk through the gate in the fence to the ponds. Walking access is permitted although birds will flush. The first pond, to south, can be birded without flushing birds by sneaking up the dike road behind the pump building and scoping while mostly out of sight. If you are there on the weekend and the gate is locked, check out several kiosks set up for hunters around the ponds. You can view birds from these vantage points. Make sure you check the wild area to the south of the ponds and on the other side of Malheur Drive. This is city property. There are cattle on this land at times but it has sagebrush and can host several species of sparrows.


Habitat and Birds

Like all sewage ponds, a wide variety of birds are attracted to the Ontario ponds. Ducks, grebes, herons, gulls, and shorebirds can be found here. Summer is slow but the rest of the year should produce quality birding. Rare birds here include Red-breasted Merganser, Red-shouldered Hawk, and WT Sparrow.