The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife manages the 5,010-acre Fern Ridge Wildlife Area primarily as a nesting and wintering sanctuary for waterfowl, shorebirds and other wetland species. The area under management surrounds Fern Ridge Reservoir and offers abundant opportunities for bird watching throughout the year in addition to hiking, canoeing, fishing and hunting opportunities. The Royal Amazon Unit, on the eastern shore, includes stands of oak, grasslands, copses of tall shrubs, and marshland habitat. The trails follow old road beds along levees that are great for running (or even cross country skiing after a rare valley snowfall). There is also a raised viewing platform west of the parking lot that is situated on the edge of a section of open water. In the winter, vast flocks of Canada Geese inhabit the area, providing a constant background soundtrack with their cacophony. Watch for gracefully hovering kites hunting for their next meal, and be sure to look for acorn woodpeckers in the stand of oaks on the eastern edge of this unit. Don't forget to bring your binoculars!