Where to go Birdwatching in Oregon

A group of Willets at South Jetty State Park

Oregon is a great place to go birdwatching, and May is a great time to look for migratory birds. Birdwatching is possible at almost any park or nature preserve, and you can start out with an inexpensive scope or pair of binoculars. There are also some very special places to see sought-after species this time of year.

If you are looking see a wide variety of birds, or maybe some rather impressive ones, here are a few places to check out this month:

Cape Meares State Park and National Wildlife Refuge

The Tufted Puffin nests on the rocks offshore here, as well as common murres, and a pair of Peregrine Falcons. you will also be able to enjoy massive old-growth forests and see other wildlife including sea lions and harbor seals.

William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge

Here you can tour by car, or hike along any of the numerous trails through the refuge. There are hundreds of different birds that have been spotted here, including several endangered and threatened species. Among the most popular here are the great horned owls, flickers, and quails.

Cove Palisades State Park

In the high desert surrounding Lake Billy Chinook, birders can see a large resident population of bald and golden eagles, along with other raptors, jays, and a variety of songbirds. Often they can be seen fishing in the lake.

Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Close to Portland, this wetlands preserve was once a sewer farm operated by the City of Hillsboro to manage waste from local canneries. Today it is a protected natural area where more than 150 species of birds can be seen each year.  Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles, Tundra Swans and Nothern Pintails are among the birds that can be seen here regularly.

More places to visit

For even more places to bird-watch around the state, check out the Oregon Wildlife Viewing map from ODFW. Local Audobon chapters also have frequent birdwatching events for people interested in learning about local birds and birdwatching.

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