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State of Oregon

Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta ©Noah Strycker Website

Birding Oregon

Known for its spectacular ocean beaches, mountains and high desert, Oregon is a state of great beauty. This scenic diversity also supports a diversity of habitats, which in turn support a diversity of bird species.

The climate along Oregon's Pacific coastline is mild and wet, and the low mountains bordering the coast are heavily forested. Areas like the Tillamook spit are locally famed for not only for shore birding, but also for the wide variety of land birds that can be found in stands of trees and open areas just inland.

The majority of the state's population lives in the Willamette Valley, nestled between the low Coast range and much higher Cascades range. The valley also enjoys a mild and wet climate, and offers a wide range of habitat ranging from heavily urbanized to classic farmland, large wetlands, forests, and oak savannah.

The Cascade Range is heavily forested up to about 6,000ft in elevation, with sub-alpine and alpine meadows at higher elevations. The major peaks have permanent snowfields and glaciers.

East of the Cascade Range, the climate is much drier and the average elevation much higher than west of the mountains. This combination makes for a harsh climate, hot and dry in summer, and bitterly cold with clear skies in winter. The predominant habitat is sage steppe. Annual precipitation on the Columbia plateau averages about twelve inches. In winter, the Klamath Basin, which spans the Oregon & California border, is home to the largest wintering concentration of bald eagles in the lower 48.

The southeast part of the state lies within the Great Basin, that large portion of the American West fenced from the sea by a series of mountain ranges and divides. The Great Basin includes nearly all of Nevada and Utah, as well as much of eastern California. Southeast Oregon forms the northwest corner of the Basin. Habitat types here are similar to the rest of eastern Oregon. Because there is no drainage to the sea, though, large salt playas and huge wetlands have formed in some areas. High Fault-block Mountains form local rain shadows, and at their feet lie areas with just a few inches of rain, like the Alvord Desert. Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, one of the largest national refuges in the country, stretches for about forty-five miles along the valley of the Blitzen river. Refuge Headquarters, located on the southern shore of vast Malheur Lake, has long been recognized as one of the best migrant traps in the West. Many of the most serious birders in Oregon can be found here during the last weeks of May and the first two weeks in June.


Don Baccus

Portland, Oregon


Number of Species

Number of bird species: 536

As at November 2016


iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

Birds of Oregon

Status and Distribution Edited by J Gilligan et al 330 pages, b/w photos, maps. Cinclus 1994

ISBN: 0963776517

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Oregon

Roger Burrows and Jeff Gilligan 384 pages, col illus, map. Lone Pine Publishing 2003

ISBN: 1551053748

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Oregon - A General Reference

Edited by Mathew G Hunter, Alan L Contreras and David B Marshall - 752 pages, illus, maps. Oregon State University

ISBN: 0870711822

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Oregon: A General Reference

by David B. Marshall (Editor); Matthew G. Hunter (Editor); Alan L. Contreras (Editor) Hardcover - June 2003 Oregon State Univ Press

ISBN: 087071497X

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of the Inland Northwest and Northern Rockies:

(Includes Idaho, Eastern Washington and Oregon, and Western Montana) | By Harry Nehls, Mike Denny & Dave Trochlell | R W Morse Company | 2008 | 422 pages, colour photos, maps |

ISBN: 9780964081062

Buy this book from NHBS.com

National Geographic Field Guide to Birds: Washington and Oregon

Jonathan Alderfer Series: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC STATE FIELD GUIDES TO BIRDS 272 pages, maps, photos, drawings. National Geographic Society 2006

ISBN: 0792253132

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Watchable Birds of the Great Basin

By David Lukas Published by Mountain PressPaperback 192 pages

ISBN: 0878423974

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

State Bird

Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta


Audubon Society in Oregon


Searchable database of chapters and centers…

Audubon Society of Corvallis


The Audubon Society of Corvallis is an active group involved in field trips, school programs, bluebird recovery, conservation issues, speakers, Christmas Bird Counts, and field projects…

Audubon Society of Lincoln City


The Audubon Society of Lincoln City’s mission is to encourage residents and visitors to protect and enjoy the natural habitats, birds, and other animals found on the Central Oregon Coast…

Audubon Society of Portland


The Audubon Society of Portland traces its origins in the community to the John Burroughs Club of Portland, organized by Rev. William R. Lord in 1898. Lord was the author of A First Book Upon the Birds of Oregon and Washington and a well-known lecturer specializing in stereopticon images of birds of the Northwest…

Cape Arago Audubon Society


Welcome to CAAS, a chapter of the National Audubon Society, established in 1979 and centered in Coos Bay, Oregon. We meet at 7:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month, September through May, at Milner Crest Education Center, 1255 Hemlock Avenue, Coos Bay. Meetings begin with the latest news on chapter activities, followed by guest speakers, who give presentations on topics of interest to birders…

East Cascades Audubon Society


Welcome to the East Cascades Audubon Society. It is a goal of our organization to propagate an appreciation for the bird world. We are a local organization, specializing in Central Oregon ornithology with only a few projects that reach beyond our local boundaries…

Kalmiopsis Audubon Society


Places to go birding and news etc. as well as bird counts: The 1998 Port Orford Christmas Bird Count was our most successful ever. A total of 140 species were tallied in the 15-mile diameter circle cantered at Sixes. This broke our old record of 136 species set back in 1981. A combination of good weather on December 26, sandwiched between stormy weather on the 25th and 27th, plus a crew of skilled birders, allowed us to find most of the birds in the area…

Klamath Basin Audubon Society


The Klamath Basin Audubon Society (KBAS) is an inclusive, community based organization that promotes a conservation ethic and enjoyment of the natural environment through educational and interactive programs…

Klamath Basin Coalition


The Klamath Basin Coalition is an alliance of local, regional and national organizations dedicated to conserving and restoring the biological resources of the West's once-great Klamath Basin…

Lane County Audubon Society


Welcome to LCAS! We are a volunteer organization made up of over 1000 members. Our commitment to help preserve wildlife and habitat diversity throughout the Pacific Northwest involve many activities for all ages. Come to a Program Meeting or a Bird Walk and get to know us!

Nature Conservancy in Oregon


Great picture on the opening page of Zumwalt Prairie, one of The Nature Conservancy of Oregon's newest preserves. Welcome to The Nature Conservancy of Oregon's web site. Here you'll find information on the many ways we're working with communities, businesses and people like you to protect Oregon's amazing diversity of native plants, wildlife and natural landscapes. Since volunteers started The Nature Conservancy of Oregon in 1961, we've helped to protect more than 340,000 acres of important natural habitats in every corner of our state. Our membership has grown to over 27,000 Oregon households and 100 corporate members. We own or cooperatively manage 50 nature preserves safeguarding many of Oregon's most sensitive habitats…

Oregon Birding Association


Formerly Oregon Field Ornithologists - OBA offers field trips to members throughout the year, and organizes an annual conference, complete with speakers, banquet, and field trips

Prescott Western Bluebird Recovery Project


The Prescott Bluebird Recovery Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the recovery, restoration, and enhancement of the Western Bluebird and other native cavity nesting birds. The Western Bluebird is listed as a sensitive species in the Lower Willamette Valley of the state of Oregon. This is only one step removed from threatened species designation.

Rogue Valley Audubon Society


Serving the communities in and around Jackson County, Oregon. The mission of the Rogue Valley Audubon Society is to support the conservation and restoration of ecosystems so that birds and other wildlife may flourish and contribute to our planet’s biodiversity.

Salem Audubon Society


An excellent local chapter site. Visually great and with lots of useful info. The Salem Audubon Centre is an active chapter of the National Audubon Society and meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month, September through May, at 6:30 P.M. at the Carrier Room, First United Methodist Church, corner of Church and State Streets, downtown Salem…

Siskiyou Audubon Society


Our priority for 2001 is to build a mini-mobile-interpretive-center so we can more easily outreach to local events, presenting Siskiyou Audubon information for habitat protection, birdboxes , Hotspots, bird biology video, birding by ear tapes.

Umpqua Valley Audubon Society


The Umpqua Valley Audubon Society welcomes birders and nature enthusiasts to occasional field trips, programs, birding classes and other activities that encourage enjoyment, appreciation and protection of the beautiful valleys of the Umpqua…

Yaquina Birders & Naturalists


Yaquina Birders & Naturalists (YB&N) is a group interested in the natural history of Lincoln County. Our interests include observing and learning about animals, plants, and skywatching. Our focus has been on birdwatching because birds are easy to observe and there are many good field guides to help in identifying them. YB&N is not affiliated with any other organization…


Abbreviations Key

Bandon Marsh NWR


Satellite View

Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge protects the largest remaining tidal salt marsh within the Coquille River estuary. Located near the mouth of the Coquille River, it is an oasis for migrating shorebirds, waterfowl and threatened and endangered species including coho salmon, bald eagle and California brown pelican. Expanded in 1999, the refuge now encompasses 712 acres…

Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center


Satellite View

Our mission is to provide care for injured and orphaned wildlife, and to foster a connection between people and wildlife through education.

Depoe Bay State Park


Satellite View

Two State Parks, Beverly Beach and Fogarty Creek, contain coastal forests and their associated birdlife. Native sitka spruce and lodgepole (shore) pine are the dominant trees, while the brush consists of salal, huckleberries, salmonberries, and various ferns. Typical year around resident species found in this wet forest are Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Pileated Woodpecker, Steller's Jay, Common Raven, American Crow, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Winter Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Varied Thrush, Wrentit, Hutton's Vireo, Spotted Towhee, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Purple Finch, Red Crossbill, Pine Siskin, and Evening Grosbeak.

Malheur NWR


Satellite View

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge was established on August 18, 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt as the Lake Malheur Bird Reservation. Roosevelt set aside unclaimed lands encompassed by Malheur, Mud and Harney Lakes “as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds.” The newly established “Lake Malheur Bird Reservation” was the 19th of 51 wildlife refuges created by Roosevelt during his tenure as president. At the time, Malheur was the third refuge in Oregon and one of only six refuges west of the Mississippi…

Ten Mile Creek Sanctuary


Satellite View

Tule Lake NWR


Satellite View

Established in 1928, Tule Lake Refuge encompasses 39,116 acres of mostly open water and croplands. Approximately 17,000 acres are leased by farmers under a program administered by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Refuge permit holders farm another 1,900 acres of cereal grain and alfalfa. These crops, together with the waste grain and potatoes from the lease program are a major food source for migrating and wintering waterfowl. A ten mile auto tour route allows for wildlife observation throughout the year…

Forums & Mailing Lists


Mailing List Archive

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Bird Guide Pelagics

Tour Operator

For Pelagic Trips off the Oregon coast. - Enjoy albatrosses and other seabirds at close range! Travel by boat off the beautiful coast of Oregon encountering murrelets, auklets, terns, kittiwakes, phalaropes, and jaegers. Once offshore, you can photograph albatrosses, fulmars, shearwaters, storm-petrels, oceanic gulls, and other seabirds right up next to the boat! Friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable on-board guides help you see and identify all the birds, as well as learn about their fascinating life histories.

Bird Treks

Tour Operator

Bird Treks has been providing small group and custom birding tours for over 20 years. Visit their website to see the incredible tours available, including a full day pelagic with Tim Shelmerdine and Oregon Pelagic Tours!

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2012 [05 May] - Bob Sundstrom - Oregon & Washington

Report PDF

…The splendid drive through the grasslands was dotted with good bird sightings: Long-billed Curlews foraging off the roadside, a Gray Partridge flying off the shoulder and then pausing in the open along a fence line, Say’s Phoebes and Rock Wrens at basalt outcroppings, and flashy Horned Larks and Lark Sparrows….

2013 [05 May] - Bob Sundstrom - Oregon & Washington

Report PDF

…The Rivers and Mountains of Oregon and Washington tour begins (and ends) in Portland, Oregon, and then works east along the Columbia River Gorge, whose towering basalt cliffs and green-clad lower reaches place it among the most scenic places in the United States. By the first afternoon, we turn north from the river toward towering Mt. Adams in the South Cascades, where we will spend two nights at Mt. Adams Lodge….

2013 [10 October] - Charles Spagnoli


…Further on, we came across hairy woodpeckers, Lisa-pleasing varied thrushes, and a hermit thrush or two. Up above us I saw the nether end of a sapsucker that was probably a female Williamson’s, but I was unable to verify the identification before it left. We found a pair of obliging golden-crowned sparrows that were also popular with Lisa, and then a Steller’s jay which delighted her with its rich blue color fading into indigo and black….

2014 [05 May] - Bob Sundstrom - Oregon & Washington

PDF Report

...The Rivers and Mountains of Oregon and Washington tour traverses a remarkable diversity of beautiful natural landscapes, with a bird diversity to match. The tour begins in Portland, Oregon, and then moves east along the Columbia River Gorge, whose towering basalt cliffs and tree-clad lower reaches place it among the most scenic places in the United States...

2015 [05 May] - Bob Sundstrom - Oregon & Washington

PDF Report

...The weeklong Rivers & Mountains of Oregon & Washington tour begins in Portland, Oregon, then runs east along the Columbia River Gorge, whose towering cliffs and tree-clad borders put it among the most scenic places in the United States...

2017 [06 June] - Richard Rae - California, Oregon & Washington

PDF Report

This report describes the birding I was able to include on a road trip through these western states with my wife, 2 young children and sister-in-law. While birding was clearly not the primary aim of the trip, I was extremely happy with what I was able to see, which included the majority of species I considered realistically possible on such a trip, with a few bonuses thrown in...


I Used to Hate Birds


My bird obsession has been growing steadily for the last year or so… I don't really know what I'm doing most of the time and I can still use all the help with ID's I can get… Thanks to everyone who's been following along on my birding journeys…

John Riutta – The Well Read Naturalist


Sharing the joys, discoveries, quandries, and other psychological phenomena arising from encountering anew as an amateur something I have done professionally for years….

NYC Nova Hunter


Interested in nature with a focus on birding and astronomy. Current project is a visual hunt for novae or exploding stars in the Galaxy from New York City. Got hooked on discovering things while birding and found that the hunt for novae in NYC is right up my alley…

Pacific NW Backyard Birder


Enjoying and learning about common birds in British Columbia, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and northern California…

Portland Oregon Backyard Birds


Seth and Michelle Portland, Oregon, United States - We are a couple who has been birding for a while now and continue to be amazed and delighted, everyday, with our little backyard visitors…

Other Links

Bird Notes


This web site is designed to gather information on bird distribution throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho and British Columbia.

Birding on the Oregon Coast


With the ocean, there is never a time of year without good, often exciting, birdwatching. However, the coast is best for birding August through April, and pelicans, common murres, and puffins are at the coast only during these months. The following links will take you on a tour of the Oregon Coast's birding hot spots from north to south. Also provided is a list of birds that make the coast their winter homes.



Mike Patterson's pages with lots of links.

Cascades Raptor Center

Facebook Page

Public Education designed to enhance the awareness, respect, appreciation, and care of the earth and all its inhabitants so critical for a balanced and healthy planet. The Raptor Center houses nearly 50 avian ambassadors.

Columbia River Estuary Christmas Bird Count


Basically a site to record the Christmas bird counts… none the less of interest.

Garden Outfitters


…a company in Oregon that carries an interesting line of bird feeders, many are made out of wood and glass…

Hardin Optical


Hardin Optical Company is your one stop telescope and accessory store on the Southern Oregon Coast. 1-877-447-4847 toll free personal service. Hardin Optical`s telescope shop is a complete retail store that offers quality optical products from a wide variety of manufacturers.

Journal of Oregon Ornithology


An online journal - SOO is a serial for monographs longer than articles included in the Journal of Oregon Ornithology (JOO). SOO and JOO are published irregularly with individual issues available for purchase; there are no subscriptions. Both attempt to document details of Oregon ornithology clearly enough that they will hopefully still be useful a century or more from now. The goal of these series is not to compete with other publications, but to publish material that might otherwise be inaccessible.

Oregon Birding Trails


Bring your binoculars as you visit the land at the end of the Oregon Trail! Watch surfbirds and black oystercatchers scramble over rocky headlands between crashing waves, as gray whales spout just off the Oregon Coast. Look for Lewis's woodpecker and Clark's nutcracker as you listen to the song of hermit warblers, among majestic pines framing the snowy volcanic peaks of the Cascades…

Oregon's Important Bird Areas


An Important Bird Area (IBA) is a site providing essential habitat to one or more species of breeding or non-breeding birds. The sites vary in size, but are usually discrete and distinguishable in character, habitat, or ornithological importance from surrounding areas. Site boundaries may be either natural (rivers, watersheds) or man-made (roads, property boundaries). In general, an IBA should exist as an actual or potential protected area, with or without buffer zones, or should have potential to be managed in some way for birds and general natural conservation. IBAs have no minimum or maximum size, but wherever possible they should be large enough to supply all or most of the requirements of the bird(s) during the season for which they are important. For all of the criteria, the use of the term species refers to species, subspecies or distinct populations.

Skip's Birding Pages


Great stuff from a completely homemade site.

Wampole's list of the birds of the Coos Bay area


John H. Wampole's list of the birds of the Coos Bay area from 1958-59 is one of few such compilations from that region, and the only reasonably accessible one from its era except for Giesler (1952); which covered only the Cape Arago region. Wampole's list has been circulating informally as a poorly reproduced typescript for many years, but has never to my knowledge been published. I was unsuccessful in attempts to locate the compiler or the others whose notes are used in this list. I hope that they would approve of its publication thirty-seven years later…

Photographers & Artists

Photographer - Dennis S Davenport Photography


Nature photos focusing on Birds….

Photographer - Matt Ragen


San Juan Wildlife and Nature Photography…

Photographer - Rick Cameron


I (Rick Cameron) have compiled a lifelist of all of the birds I`ve seen over the past few years. The categories are based on those found in the National Audubon Society`s Field Guide to North American Birds.

Photographer & Artist - Noah Stryker


Noah Strycker is an 18-year old birder, photographer, illustrator, and writer based in Creswell, Oregon…