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Salem Online History This site is provided by Salem Public Library (Salem, Oregon).
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Great Blue Heron
 
Willamette River
 
 
Great Blue Herons
Great blue herons are the largest herons in North America, standing about four feet tall. They are among Oregon's most recognized birds, commonly found near bodies of water and in farm fields. They feed on fish, amphibians, rodents, and almost any other animal they can swallow whole. Beginning birders are sometimes surprised to learn that these long-legged birds nest primarily in trees. Like many other wading birds, they nest colonially in large stick nest in trees, usually close to water. In the Willamette Valley, herons frequently nest in cottonwood and ash trees in riparian area. Learn More

Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuges
The three Western Oregon refuges in the Willamette Valley are part of more than 500 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The original Willamette Valley was a rich mix of wildlife habitats. Valley wetlands were once extensive with meandering stream channels and vast seasonal marshes. As people have altered the natural landscape to meet their own needs, wildlife have not always benefited. Learn More
 
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