Stepping Stones for Wildlife

2018 Ducklings at Tanner Springs Park

Our stepping stone park has been home to another clutch of Mallard ducklings. In spring ten ducklings hatched of which 8 survived. Their mother’s rigorous Barre3-style exercises on our steps prepared them for their departure from the park.  In the middle of May they left for adventures and parts unknown. A second pair of Mallards have been seen exhibiting mating behavior so we hope to see more ducklings by the end of June. For more information on their life cycle and nesting habits please visit our Mallard page.

2017 Mallard Family

Mallards have been nesting and raising young at Tanner Springs Park for years. This year was no exception. There were 10 ducklings hatched and taught to swim. Visitors and residents were all excited, took photos and watched over them. One day, they were all gone, the mother hen and her ducklings. We knew they were too young to fly. The Willamette River isn’t very far but little webbed feet  would have to cross several streets and railroad tracks. For seven months now people still ask about them. We love our wildlife, especially the young. No park should be an island. Wildlife needs stepping stone patches of habitat and larger corridors for food, shelter and genetic diversity. We hope our ducklings found a home full of food and clean water. Find out more about corridors in Portland and how you can help create them.


Tanner Springs Park, Urban Wildlife: Before industry developed industrial warehouses and a railroad yard, Tanner Creek flowed through this area. Today, Tanner Springs Park is a restored wetlands situated in the Pearl District. It is a bustling urban neighborhood. Many critters and particularly waterfowl moved right in. Video: Roger Airhead


Opportunities to help wildlife


Down the street from Tanner Springs Park Northern Red-legged Frogs are killed migrating over Highway 30. Help shuttle frogs to and from their breeding grounds. Photo: ©Jane Hartline


Homeowner and Landowner Guide to creating stepping stones of aquatic habitat: Help replace wetlands that have been lost and degraded in many urban landscapes by digging ponds for dragonflies and damselflies to provide much-needed aquatic resources.