Peregrine Prairie

Easement

Size: 130
Acquired: February 2021
Location: Long Tom Watershed, northwest of Junction City
How it was Protected:

The owner donated a conservation easement to McKenzie River Trust to to ensure the Property’s unique conservation values are protected and cared for into perpetuity. The landowner also provided funding for long- term stewardship activities.

Peregrine Prairie is a special complex of wet prairie and oak and ash wetland in the Long Tom River watershed. For years, the landowner has worked diligently to restore this area, introducing native flowers and grasses, along with Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine. This habitat provides perches, hiding places, and forage areas for a number of bird and wildlife species. Located next to another important conservation area, together they create over 400 acres for migratory birds to rest, nest, and thrive. Blue heron, western meadowlark, bald eagles and dozens of other birds species have been observed there, including the property’s namesake – the Peregrine falcon.

"The property has a nice combination of prairie habitat, oak and ash woodlands and wet, brushy areas along the perimeter. The prairie is a good wintering ground for Savannah Sparrows and Western Meadowlarks and I found both species breeding here in June. The woodlands harbor Acorn Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatch, and a surprising number of breeding House Wrens along with other expected species. A pair of Great Horned Owls were on their nest in February by the pond on the east. Most surprising was a migrating Solitary Sandpiper along the northern edge of the property, a very uncommon visitor to the valley. It appears that this property’s varied habitats provide winter range and breeding grounds for a number of species."
Roger Robb
Birder and Former MRT President

The prairie is dominated by a mix of native grasses, including Roemer’s fescue and tufted hairgrass, with camas, rough popcorn flower, checkermallow, lupine, and lomatium species showing off through the spring and early summer months providing habitat for pollinators. The forested wetland is dominated by Oregon white oak and Oregon ash. Nootka rose and spirea cluster in shrubby patches. 

Deer, coyote, beaver, killdeer, snipe and red tail hawk, and the western meadowlark are just some of the wildlife species that enjoy Peregrine Prairie species that enjoy Peregrine Prairie. 

The western meadowlark is Oregon’s state bird and considered a sensitive species. Peregrine Prairie’s open grassland provides much-needed nesting habitat for these iconic birds, helping ensure its song will continue to ring through the Willamette Valley.