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Cow and Batch Lakes

Cow and Batch Lakes in eastern Oregon are flat, playa lakes about 15 miles west-northwest of Jordan Valley in eastern Malheur County.

Red Marker Cow and Batch Lakes
Cow and Batch Lakes in eastern Oregon are flat, playa lakes about 15 miles west-northwest of Jordan Valley in eastern Malheur County.

Location: Approximately 15 miles west-northwest of Jordon Valley, east-central Malheur County.

Description: These flat, playa lakes were formed when the Jordon Crater lava flow blocked stream flows. The area contains large areas of open water and emergent vegetation. Exposed mudflats are present in late summer. Large numbers of moist soil-dependent plants are present.  Batch Lake is a deep, spring fed lake with a lava shore.  Upper and Lower Cow lakes are creek-fed and fluctuate seasonally, with minimal riparian vegetation. 

Ornithological Highlights: This cluster of lakes and marshes regularly has several thousand waterfowl and over 100 shorebirds in season (Marty St. Louis pers. comm.). In addition, several dozen pairs of Black-crowned Night-Herons breed in dense marshes in the Batch Lake complex near Cow Lakes (Contreras and Kindschy 1996). The Cow Lakes area is also considered an important Shrub-Steppe Bird Conservation Area (Altman and Holmes 2000). No known formal surveys have been conducted here. Species observed here include American White Pelican, Barrow's Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Snowy Egret, Virginia Rail, Clapper Rail, Flammulated Owl, Golden and Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Sage Grouse, and Western Bluebird.

For more information on Cow and Batch Lakes IBA, please see the Technical Site Report in the National IBA database.

Links:

43.0312549287 -117.10395813

Location: Approximately 15 miles west-northwest of Jordon Valley, east-central Malheur County.

Description: These flat, playa lakes were formed when the Jordon Crater lava flow blocked stream flows. The area contains large areas of open water and emergent vegetation. Exposed mudflats are present in late summer. Large numbers of moist soil-dependent plants are present.  Batch Lake is a deep, spring fed lake with a lava shore.  Upper and Lower Cow lakes are creek-fed and fluctuate seasonally, with minimal riparian vegetation. 

Ornithological Highlights: This cluster of lakes and marshes regularly has several thousand waterfowl and over 100 shorebirds in season (Marty St. Louis pers. comm.). In addition, several dozen pairs of Black-crowned Night-Herons breed in dense marshes in the Batch Lake complex near Cow Lakes (Contreras and Kindschy 1996). The Cow Lakes area is also considered an important Shrub-Steppe Bird Conservation Area (Altman and Holmes 2000). No known formal surveys have been conducted here. Species observed here include American White Pelican, Barrow's Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Snowy Egret, Virginia Rail, Clapper Rail, Flammulated Owl, Golden and Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Ring-necked Duck, Greater Sage Grouse, and Western Bluebird.

For more information on Cow and Batch Lakes IBA, please see the Technical Site Report in the National IBA database.

Links:

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