Category Archives: Upper Truckee Marsh

Life in the Raw

Upper Truckee Marsh


On the Upper Truckee Delta

So this Bald Eagle is perched in the pines at the mouth of the Upper Truckee. And it’s off, straight out over the lake. We carry on, drinking cocoa, watching the Snowy Egrets working the river edge. And the gulls go up.

What do you do when the gulls go up? Look for Baldy. Coming straight back from where he(she?) went. With food. Lands out on the sand spit.

Five minutes? Ten minutes? This wasn’t a quick fish grab. Sure enough, feathers start flying. Coot? Duck? Peering through the scope — looks like a duck head. Feathers continue to fly. What are the Egrets doing? Mallards drift by. Still eating.

After a while, the eagle flies off to the west. What was the meal? Let’s go look. CSI mission. Guess the leftovers left with the eagle.


All that was left…

Many Species…

Upper Truckee Marsh

Smowy Egret wading

A Snowy Egret visits the Upper Truckee River

First of season Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbird, Least Sandpiper, Willet and Snowy Egret.

Two Red-tailed Hawks, a Northern Harrier, and old Baldy represented the raptors.

Wilson’s Snipe winnowing out in the marsh. Would love to see a winnow flight.

Looking across river

Can’t we get closer?


With all the species to see, rest and refreshments definitely in order. Lynn brought cocoa. Yum.

42 species for the morning. Excellent.

Eagles and Osprey and Avocets, Oh My

Upper Truckee Marsh

Piers with storm clouds

Piers at Upper Truckee Marsh


Stormy to the east, sunshine to the west, clouds coming and going. Just another beautiful Tahoe morning for birding.

Adult Bald Eagle in flight

Eagle ! Eagle! Eagle!



Steller’s Jays squawking outted Baldy perched in the pines. As we looked up from underneath, it was time to leave…


Flock of American Avocets and a Green-winged Teal

Who invited the duck?


Shorebirds stop at Tahoe on migration to breeding grounds further north. This group of American Avocets was joined by a Green-winged Teal.

Osprey Soaring

First Osprey of the season soars overhead



Cruising downstream above the Upper Truckee came an Osprey – our first of the season. Suddenly, with a flare upward, it paused for a moment in flight, then dove and rapidly left. What???



Immature Bald Eagle taking flight

A 2nd-3rd year Bald Eagle – note the white armpits



Then Lynn spotted an immature Bald Eagle perched in the pines across the river.

Spring Snow at Upper Truckee Marsh

Upper Truckee Marsh

Getting out of the truck, first bird of the day – a White-headed Woodpecker. Nice beginning to a birding outing. A Northern Flicker pounds away at someones siding. A Robin squeaks. Pygmy Nuthatch and Mountain Chickadee chime in from the canopy above, as Steller’s Jays scold someone about something a little ways off. Yes, a nice beginning.

Snow on the ground, mountains, clouds

Upper Truckee Marsh after late March snow

After a spring-like winter, and an ongoing drought, it’s nice to have the snow that brightens the Upper Truckee Marsh. 

Marsh Wren in willows

Marsh wrens are claiming territory early this year


Red-winged Blackbirds greet the morning, singing away in the willows. Song Sparrows and a Marsh Wren add to the chorus. With all the warm weather Tahoe has had, spring seems so early, they’ve already been singing for weeks.


Ducks swimming

Common Mergansers splashing about

Looks like the resident beaver have been busy again. The water level in the marsh has been down, then up, down, and now up again. There is a dam out beyond this picture and more off to the right that make this pond in Trout Creek. My speculation is something has been dam-busting, but have no idea what.

River, trees, clouds

The pines are a favorite Bald Eagle perch – but not today.


The Upper Truckee Marsh is usually a good spot for birds of prey. Not this day.

We’ve been very lucky over the last year with Bald Eagle sightings, but it’s been two weeks now. Osprey should be returning to Tahoe any day – there’s a colony over in Emerald Bay.