WHAT TO EXPECT Oxbow Nature Study Area is one of the few relatively intact riparian areas along the Truckee River in Reno. It is characterized by mature cottonwoods, Russian olive trees, willows, dense brush piles, and a small pond with thick cattails. A wheelchair-accessible boardwalk begins near the Interpretive Center. This is an excellent place to spend just a few minutes or a few hours.
Best time of year: Year-round. During fall and early winter this is an excellent migrant trap, with spring also good for migrants and vagrants.
Notable species: American Dipper is possible along the river. Check the willow tops for Anna's Hummingbird, a regular migrant; a few have oversummered. Green Heron and Sora are possible at the pond. White-throated Sparrow, Winter Wren, and Varied Thrush have been found in the area. Check for vagrants among the large flocks of wintering sparrows. Bohemian Waxwings may be found in the large Cedar Waxwing flocks.
Precautions: Oxbow Nature Study Area is heavily used by the general public and the local school district for field trips and teacher workshops.
HOW TO GET THERE From the I-80 & US 395 interchange, drive west on I-80 approximately 2 miles to Exit 12 Keystone Avenue. Turn left (south) on Keystone Avenue and proceed 0.5 mile to West Second Street. Turn right (west) on West Second Street. Drive 0.4 mile to just before the old railroad overpass and follow the road to the left, Dickerson Avenue. Dickerson Avenue terminates in 0.8 mile at the Oxbow Nature Study Area parking lot and Interpretive Center.
POPULAR BIRDING ROUTE Walk to the left of the parking lot to the viewing platform at the edge of the river. Return to bird the cattail pond west of the Interpretive Center. An upper viewing platform affords an overview of the pond and surrounding area. A lower deck brings you pondside. After birding these two areas, follow the boardwalk and path along the Truckee River for approximately 0.5 mile. Return to the Interpretive Center.