Frank Richardson Wildfowl Preserve

Orcas Island

Years Protected: 1986 & 1993

Land Protected: 13 acres

Hiking Trails: 0.1 Miles

Trail Difficulty: Moderate

This 13-acre preserve provides a perfect place from which to observe the amazing variety of wildlife that teems in the adjacent fresh-water marsh near Deer Harbor. It is named in honor of Dr. Frank Richardson, the curator of birds at the Burke Museum and a professor of zoology at the University of Washington. After his retirement in 1972, Dr. Richardson observed some 80 species of birds in this unusually active marsh. A memorial plaque to the preserve’s namesake is mounted to a large boulder on the north side of Channel Road as it skirts the wetland. Visitors can park in a pullout area along Channel Road near the plaque.

The preserve includes part of the southwest quadrant of the marsh, but most of its acreage lies in the upland forest across the road. About 30 feet east of Crest Drive, a short but rather steep gravel driveway (pedestrian access only) winds up the hill on the south side of Channel Road for about 100 feet. It ends in a small grassy clearing that offers screened views of the marsh from above. This vantage is excellent for observing the abundant migrating wildfowl that make this small but critically important marsh a stopover on their annual journey of breeding and survival.

Access: Dawn to dusk hours only; no overnight parking or camping.

Learn about the history of this preserve

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Reviews of this Preserve

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Reviews for Frank Richardson Wildfowl Preserve
Sweet birding spot

We enjoyed stopping at the Richardson marsh to watch birding activity. When we were there we saw lots of red wing blackbirds singing from their perches. Also provided a nice walk along Channel Road with our dog.