Birding Oregon  by John Rakestraw

Birding Oregon Guide Book

by John Rakestraw (Falcon Guides)
Birding Oregon  by John Rakestraw
Oregon's wide diversity of habitats lends itself to a rich medley of birdlife - more than 500 species, ranging from Black-footed Albatross to Black-throated sparrows. Birding Oregon guides you to more than 200 of the finest birding locations throughout the state - from sage steppes, wetlands, and mountains, to open ocean, forests, and tundra, to farmland and even urban areas. Organized by region, this comprehensive reference includes everything you need for a rewarding bird-watching experience.

© 2007 John Rakestraw/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Birding Oregon" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 44.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 44.

The habitats near Ashland include lower-elevation lakes and riparian habitats close to town, as well as higher-elevation lakes, meadows and woodlands to the south and east. This chapter contains information about birding around the following areas: Bear Creek Greenway, Mount Ashland, Emigrant Lake, Hyatt Lake/Howard Prairie Lake and Forest Service Road 37. Specialty birds in these areas include: Sooty Grouse; Mountain Quail; Acorn and Pileated Woodpeckers; Gray Jay; Oak Titmouse; Townsend’s Solitaire; Western Bluebird; Wrentit; Green-tailed, Spotted, and California Towhees; Grasshopper, Lincoln’s, and Fox Sparrows and Purple and Cassin’s Finches.
Ashland, OR - Birding
The landscape near Baker City is dominated by vast expanses of sage steppe, providing a haven for those species that specialize in this habitat. The reservoirs concentrate large numbers of waterfowl and shorebirds that migrate through this dry area. Just to the west are the Blue and Elkhorn Mountains with their forest and alpine habitats. This chapter contains information about birding around the following areas: Thief Valley Reservoir, National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center Virtue Flat Off-highway Vehicle Area, Phillips Reservoir/Sumpter Valley and Anthony Lakes.
Baker City, OR - Birding
The Bandon area is one of the best in the state for migrant shorebirds. All of the regularly occurring species can be found here, along with an impressive list of vagrants. Large offshore rocks in the area support colonies of nesting seabirds. As with any coastal site, check the forests and brushy areas for migrant and wintering songbirds. This chapter contains information about birding around the following areas: Bullards Beach, Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, South Jetty of the Coquille River and Coquille Point.
Bandon, OR - Birding
This sprawling city on the western edge of the High Desert has several parks that attract good numbers of both migrant and resident species. Tumalo State Park and Sawyer Park offer extensive riparian habitat. Shevlin Park and Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint contain drier ponderosa pine and juniper woodland habitats, respectively. This chapter contains information about birding around the following areas: Tumalo State Park Sawyer Park, Shevlin Park and Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint. Specialty birds in these areas include: Anna’s Hummingbird; Lewis’s Woodpecker; Williamson’s Sapsucker; Empidonax flycatchers; Mountain Chickadee; Pygmy Nuthatch; American Dipper; Green-tailed Towhee and Fox Sparrow.
Bend, OR - Birding
The southernmost 25 miles or so of Oregon’s coastline have several productive birding sites, most of which can be checked fairly quickly. Be especially alert for Elegant Terns and Allen’s Hummingbirds in summer and Tropical Kingbirds in autumn, as these species become less likely as you travel farther north. This chapter contains information about birding around the following areas: Pistol River State Park, Samuel H. Boardman State Park, Harris Beach State Park, Chetco Point Park, Azalea Park, South Jetty of the Chetco River. Specialty birds in these areas include: Red-shouldered Hawk; Elegant Tern; Tufted Puffin and Allen’s Hummingbird.
Brookings, OR - Birding,Hiking
The town of Cannon Beach is a very popular tourist town. As a result the city itself should probably be avoided on summer weekends. But a couple of sites in this area are definitely worth some birding time, especially in winter. Ecola State Park offers both an easily accessible seawatch site, and extensive hiking trails through mature coastal forest. The main parking lot at Eagle Point is the former.Walk across the big lawn, which may be inhabited by a mixed flock of gulls or a herd of Elk, to the rocky headland. From the overlooks here, watch for all the typical loons, cormorants, grebes, sea ducks, and shearwaters in migration. This is also a popular lookout for Gray Whales. From the parking lot you can either hike south on the rather strenuous trail to Crescent Beach or north toward Indian Beach. Both paths lead you through lush woodland with the occasional ocean overlook. Look for Varied and Hermit Thrushes,Wrentits, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, and other forest species. If you would rather not walk the 2 miles to Indian Beach, you can drive to the parking lot there.
Cannon Beach, OR - Birding
Cape Blanco is the westernmost point in Oregon. In addition to the beaches and headlands, habitats here include freshwater wetlands and brushy meadows in the Sixes River Valley. The nearby town of Port Orford offers a productive state park and boat basin. The first 3 miles of Cape Blanco Highway go through private property, but watch the roadsides as you go. The wetlands, pastures, brushy fencerows, and wooded patches attract raptors, Northern Shrikes in winter, and flocks of sparrows and finches. Allen’s Hummingbirds are present in spring and summer. Stop at the entrance to Cape Blanco State Park to check the wetland there for raptors, waterfowl, and rails. This chapter contains information about birding around the following areas: Sixes River Valley, Horse Camp Road, Cape Blanco, Port Orford Heads State Park, Port of Port Orford and Humbug Mountain State Park. Specialty birds in these areas include: Harlequin and Long-tailed Ducks; White-tailed Kite; Red-shouldered Hawk; Marbled and Ancient Murrelets; Allen’s Hummingbird; Marsh Wren and American Pipit.
Port Orford, OR - Birding
Both these sites lie in the Columbia Plateau, a region that has been largely converted from grassland to agriculture. Small patches of grassland still attract Grasshopper Sparrows, Long-billed Curlews, and other grassland species. Cold Springs Reservoir and the impounded Columbia River attract large numbers of wintering and migrant waterfowl. This chapter contains information about birding around the following areas: Cold Springs National Wildlife Refuge and Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge. Specialty birds in these areas include: Tundra Swan; Horned and Eared Grebes; Black-crowned Night-Heron; Black-bellied Plover; American Avocet; Longbilled Curlew; Western and Least Sandpipers; Long-eared and Short-eared Owls; Western Kingbird; Bewick’s and House Wrens; American Tree and Grasshopper Sparrows; Yellowheaded Blackbird and Bullock’s Oriole.
Umatilla, OR - Birding
Coos Bay is the largest estuary in Oregon, providing extensive mudflats for migrant shorebirds and waterfowl. The surrounding freshwater marshes, woodlands, and coastal headlands add to the species diversity, making this area one of the most productive birding areas in the state. This chapter contains information about birding around the following areas: North Spit, Pony Slough, Empire/Charleston, Cape Arago Highway, South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve and Millicoma Marsh. Specialty birds in these areas include: Brant; Harlequin Duck; Longtailed Duck; Virginia Rail; American and Pacific Golden Plovers; Snowy Plover; Red Knot; Buffbreasted Sandpiper; Marbled and Ancient Murrelets; Black Phoebe and Palm Warbler.
Coos Bay, OR - Birding
The area around Enterprise is one of the most scenic and productive areas for birding in eastern Oregon. This is a major destination for birders seeking winter finches, but the area offers good birding for migrants and nesting species as well. OR 82 between La Grande and Enterprise offers many opportunities to pull over and explore the riparian habitats along the Grande Ronde and Wallowa Rivers. (Watch for two more sites along this route: Rhinehart Canyon and Clark Creek Road.) These areas are especially productive for migrants in the spring. Look for Bohemian Waxwings in winter. This chapter contains information about birding around the following areas: Enterprise Wildlife Area, Pete’s Pond, Wallowa, Enterprise, Joseph, Lostine, Wallowa Lake, State Park, Hypsometry, Enterprise/Joseph, Wallowa Lake State Park, Golf Course Road and Zumwalt Road/Little Sheep Creek Highway. Specialty birds in these areas include: Gray Partridge; Golden Eagle; Northern Shrike; Townsend’s Solitaire; Bohemian Waxwing; American Tree Sparrow; Lapland Longspur; Snow Bunting; Bobolink; Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch and Pine Grosbeak.
Enterprise, OR - Birding
Marshes and grasslands cover the east side of the Fern Ridge Reservoir area, while the west side provides more wooded and brushy habitats. The open water of the lake itself is best viewed from the dam at the north side. Water levels vary greatly throughout the year, with the highest levels in April and the lowest in November. As the water recedes throughout summer and autumn, extensive mudflats provide habitat for migrant shorebirds. Much of the area to the south and east of the reservoir is included in the Fern Ridge Wildlife Area. Parts of the wildlife area may be closed during various seasons to protect wintering and nesting waterfowl. Look for signs listing closures at any of the parking areas or check at the area headquarters. This chapter contains information about birding around the following areas: Fern Ridge Wildlife Area (South Units), Fern Ridge Wildlife Area (East Units), South-side Parks, Fern Ridge Wildlife Area (Applegate Unit) and Kirk Park and Fern Ridge Dam. Specialty birds in these areas include: American Bittern; Whitetailed Kite; Red-shouldered Hawk; Wilson’s Phalarope; Black Tern; Acorn Woodpecker; Marsh Wren; Swainson’s Thrush; Grasshopper Sparrow and Yellow-headed Blackbird.
Veneta, OR - Birding
The mouth of the Siuslaw River marks the northern end of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Although much of the naturally shifting sand in this area has been hobbled by introduced European Beach Grass, the huge dunes and broad sand beaches offer an interesting contrast to the rocky headlands to the north and south. This part of the Oregon coast is one of the last strongholds for the declining coastal population of Snowy Plovers. These sandy expanses also attract large numbers of off-highway vehicles, but the sites described below are generally protected from such activity. This chapter contains information about birding around the following areas: North Jetty of the Siuslaw, South Jetty of the Siuslaw and Siltcoos Recreation Area. Specialty birds in these areas include: Tundra Swan; Harlequin Duck; scoters; Osprey; White-tailed Kite; Roughlegged Hawk; Peregrine Falcon; Black-bellied and Snowy Plovers; Marbled and Ancient Murrelets and American Pipit.
Florence, OR - Birding
Three distinct habitats are found within a span of 25 miles in northwestern Lake County. This chapter contains information about birding around the following areas: Paulina Marsh, Fort Rock State Park and Cabin Lake Campground. Specialty birds in these areas include: Prairie Falcon; Rough-legged and Ferruginous Hawks; White-throated Swift; Lewis’s Woodpecker; Say’s Phoebe; Pinyon Jay; Clark’s Nutcracker; Violet-green and Cliff Swallows; Rock and Canyon Wrens; Sage Thrasher; Green-tailed Towhee and Brewer’s and Sage Sparrows.
La Pine, OR - Birding
While the main attraction for birders when visiting Fort Stevens State Park is the south jetty of the Columbia River, the park offers access to forest, brush, and a freshwater lake as well. There is an excellent network of trails throughout the park. This chapter contains information about birding around the following areas: South Jetty of the Columbia and Coffenbury Lake. Specialty birds in these areas include: Red-throated, Pacific and Common Loons; Sooty and Short-tailed Shearwaters; Black-bellied, American Golden, and Pacific Golden Plovers; Baird’s Sandpiper; Black-legged Kittiwake; Caspian Tern; Willow and Pacific-slope Flycatchers; Savannah Sparrow and Lapland Longspur.
Warrenton, OR - Birding
Habitats around Grants Pass include the mature woodlands of Siskiyou National Forest, dry chaparral, and the riparian corridor along the scenic Rogue River. This chapter contains information about birding around the following areas: Manzanita Rest Area, Forest Service Road 25 and Whitehorse County Park. Specialty birds in these areas include: Mountain Quail; Oak Titmouse; Blue-gray Gnatcatcher; California Towhee; Wrentit; Lesser Goldfinch; Black Phoebe and Red-shouldered Hawk.
Grants Pass, OR - Birding
Hart Mountain is a large fault block that rises abruptly almost 3,600 feet above the wetlands of the Warner Valley. From the sharp peaks of the west side, the refuge slopes gently down toward the Catlow Valley to the east. In sharp contrast to the fairly suburban setting of the Willamette Valley Refuges, Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge is isolated and rugged. But the sheer size and beauty of the place, along with the diversity of habitats, birds, and other wildlife, make this site well worth the effort it takes to get there. This chapter contains information about birding around the following areas: Hogback Road, Hart Mountain Road, Headquarters, Hot Springs Campground and Blue Sky. Specialty birds in these areas include: Greater Sage-Grouse; Chukar; Brewer’s, Vesper, and Sage Sparrows; Flammulated Owl; Green-tailed Towhee; Mountain Bluebird; Sage Thrasher; Western Grebe; American White Pelican and Sandhill Crane.
Burns, OR - Birding
Located in the broad Grande Ronde Valley between the Blue and Wallowa Mountains, the area around La Grande offers excellent birding for wetland and grassland species. Access the Wallowa Mountains and their forest birds at the eastern edge of the valley. Opportunities to see winter finches during invasion years are similar to those in the Enterprise area. The overlook is a good distance from the water, so a scope is useful here. From the overlook watch and listen for American Bitterns, Black-crowned Night-Herons, Soras, Virginia Rails, Marsh Wrens, and Yellow-headed Blackbirds during the nesting season. A small population of Sandhill Cranes breeds here, as well. Watch for Bobolinks in the wet fields along Foothill Road just north of the overlook. In winter, as long as the water remains unfrozen, a good variety of waterfowl and raptors use the marsh. Check the brushy areas for American Tree Sparrows. This area is good for migrant songbirds in the spring. Look for nesting Lazuli Buntings and various sparrows in the summer. Long-eared Owls have been found in the locust trees in this area.
La Grande, OR - Birding
While Lakeview serves primarily as the base of operations for birders visiting Hart Mountain Refuge and the Warner Valley, the town itself provides some good birding opportunities. Approaching Lakeview from the north on US 395, you will pass a cemetery on the west side of the road. This is worth a quick stop to check for songbirds or raptors during migration and winter. From US 395 in Lakeview, turn east onto Center Street and continue to the little city park near the swimming pool. The park and the nearby riparian habitat along Bullard Creek attract songbirds all year. Specialty birds in these areas include: Juniper Titmouse
Lakeview, OR - Birding
Larch Mountain provides easy access to birds of the coniferous forest. The birder can choose to drive all the way to the summit, walk short distances into several clear-cuts, or hike for several miles through forest and meadow habitats. Birding is easiest in late May and June, when breeding species are in full song. Larch Mountain Road is closed past milepost 10 from late autumn until the snow melts sometime in May. Birders can walk past the gate if they wish to explore the mountain in early spring. On your way up Larch Mountain Road, there are two good places within the Mount Hood National Forest where you can walk down logging roads to explore clear-cuts. These brushy areas attract Willow Flycatchers, House Wrens, MacGillivray’s Warblers, Band-tailed Pigeons, woodpeckers, Swainson’s Thrushes, and Northern Pygmy-Owls. You can scan the clear-cuts from their edges or walk into them. Thick brush and stumps make walking difficult, but birding can be more productive farther off the path. Specialty birds in these areas include: Sooty Grouse; Northern Pygmy-Owl; Pileated Woodpecker; Olive-sided and Pacific-slope Flycatchers; Gray Jay; Bandtailed Pigeon; Varied Thrush; Hermit and MacGillivray’s Warblers; Chipping Sparrow and Red Crossbill.
Sandy, OR - Birding
The Klamath Basin, which straddles the Oregon/California border, is one of the most important staging areas in North America for migrant waterfowl. These birds, in turn, attract large numbers of wintering Bald Eagles and other raptors. The flooded fields and shallow marshes harbor migrant shorebirds in the spring, with typical high-desert species staying to nest. The parks in the city of Klamath Falls, adjacent to Upper Klamath Lake, are great places to see migrant and nesting forest species, as well as gulls and waterfowl. Specialty birds in these areas include: Greater White-fronted, Snow, and Ross’s Geese; Tundra Swan; Western, Clark’s, and Eared Grebes; American White Pelican; American Bittern; Snowy Egret; Whitefaced Ibis; Bald Eagle; Rough-legged Hawk; Sandhill Crane; Bonaparte’s, Ring-billed, and California Gulls; Forster’s and Black Terns; Lewis’s Woodpecker; Lapland Longspur; Snow Bunting and Tricolored and Yellow-headed Blackbirds.
Klamath Falls, OR - Birding

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