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Alvord Lake and Basin

Alvord Lake and Basin is a seasonal, alkali lake in eastern Harney County at the eastern foot of Steens Mountain.

Red Marker Alvord Lake and Basin
Alvord Lake and Basin is a seasonal, alkali lake in eastern Harney County at the eastern foot of Steens Mountain.

Location: Alvord Lake is a seasonal, alkali lake in eastern Harney County about 8 miles north of Fields, Oregon. 

Description: Alvord Lake is a seasonal, alkali lake in eastern Harney County administered by The Bureau of Land Management.  The Alvord Desert playa is one of the largest playas in Oregon at 6 miles wide and 11 miles long, and is bounded by Steens Mountains to the west.  The lakebed is approximately 4 miles long and 1.75 miles wide. Margins are defined by wet meadow, dunes, and salt desert vegetation.  The lake is fed by Wildhorse Creek, Trout Creek and Borax Lake.  Private lands and BLM surround the lake.

Ornithological Highlights: Supports small numbers of nesting Snowy Plovers, >100 shorebirds in migration, >2000 waterfowl in migration. Also, whether in this IBA or the Steens Mountain IBA, Black-throated Sparrows are consistent along the east flank of the Steens here.  Sandhill Cranes nest in wet meadows and wetlands around Alvord Lake, mostly on the north end (7 pairs in 1999/2000 per Gary Ivey).  Other species documented by BLM in recent years include: Eared, Clark's and Western Grebe, Great Egret, mallard, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Cinnamon Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Lesser Scaup, White-faced Ibis, Northern Harrier, Prairie Falcon, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, Willet, Spotted Sandpiper, Long-billed Curlew, Western Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Wilson's Phalarope, Franklin's Gull, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Black Tern, Common Nighthawk, Loggerhead Shrike, Common Raven, Horned Lark, Sage Thrasher, Sage Sparrow, Western Meadowlark.

For more information on Alvord Lake and Basin IBA, please see the Technical Site Report in the National IBA database.

Links:

Alvord Desert from East Steens Road, photo courtesy of BLM.
Alvord Desert from East Steens Road, photo courtesy of BLM.
42.3988686273 -118.603076935

Location: Alvord Lake is a seasonal, alkali lake in eastern Harney County about 8 miles north of Fields, Oregon. 

Description: Alvord Lake is a seasonal, alkali lake in eastern Harney County administered by The Bureau of Land Management.  The Alvord Desert playa is one of the largest playas in Oregon at 6 miles wide and 11 miles long, and is bounded by Steens Mountains to the west.  The lakebed is approximately 4 miles long and 1.75 miles wide. Margins are defined by wet meadow, dunes, and salt desert vegetation.  The lake is fed by Wildhorse Creek, Trout Creek and Borax Lake.  Private lands and BLM surround the lake.

Ornithological Highlights: Supports small numbers of nesting Snowy Plovers, >100 shorebirds in migration, >2000 waterfowl in migration. Also, whether in this IBA or the Steens Mountain IBA, Black-throated Sparrows are consistent along the east flank of the Steens here.  Sandhill Cranes nest in wet meadows and wetlands around Alvord Lake, mostly on the north end (7 pairs in 1999/2000 per Gary Ivey).  Other species documented by BLM in recent years include: Eared, Clark's and Western Grebe, Great Egret, mallard, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Cinnamon Teal, Canvasback, Redhead, Lesser Scaup, White-faced Ibis, Northern Harrier, Prairie Falcon, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, American Avocet, Black-necked Stilt, Willet, Spotted Sandpiper, Long-billed Curlew, Western Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Wilson's Phalarope, Franklin's Gull, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Black Tern, Common Nighthawk, Loggerhead Shrike, Common Raven, Horned Lark, Sage Thrasher, Sage Sparrow, Western Meadowlark.

For more information on Alvord Lake and Basin IBA, please see the Technical Site Report in the National IBA database.

Links:

Alvord Desert from East Steens Road, photo courtesy of BLM.
Alvord Desert from East Steens Road, photo courtesy of BLM.
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