Hiking and nature watching are popular pass times at East Lake. Eagles nest on the cliffs surrounding the lake and hawks, osprey and kingfishers can be seen hunting overhead. Waterfowl feed on the lake from Spring thaw until the lake freezes in early Winter and it is a great place to see unusual species during migration. In the Fall, Black Bear come to the edge of the lake to feed on spawning Kokanee and eat huckleberries in the nearby forest.
The endangered Grape Fern is found in the area plus a variety of evergreen trees including Lodge-pole Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Mountain Hemlock, Grand Fir and White Bark Pine. Clark’s Nutcrackers, bears and squirrels stay well-fed on the seeds of these conifers. A closer look at the grassy shoreline might reveal Long Toed Salamanders, Western Toads or one of three varieties of frogs. At sunset watch the edge of the lake for Little Brown or Big Eared bats zig-zagging after insect prey.
The Oregon Cascades Birding Trail brochure includes East Lake on its tour route. Stops #123, 124 and 125 on the Three Sisters Loop are within Newberry Caldera and very close to East Lake Resort.
Newberry Crater and East Lake are nesting sites for Golden Eagle, Bald eagle and Osprey. Golden Eagle have been known to nest in the cliffs that surround the lake.
The lake also lures Common loon, at least three species of grebe (Horned, Eared, and Western), Tundra swan, Eurasian wigeon, American wigeon, Ring-necked duck, two kinds of Goldeneye (Common and Barrow’s), and Hooded Mergenser. Ring-billed gull, California gull, Caspian tern, and Belted kingfisher have also been seen. Scan the shoreline for Sora, American avocet, and Spotted sandpiper. Drive or hike to the summit of Paulina Peak to watch soaring raptors such as Golden eagle, Turkey vulture, Prairie falcon, and Red-tailed hawk.
Below is a complete list of birds that you might expect to see at East Lake. Happy birding!
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