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.

Contributors
  • Don Baccus

    Portland, Oregon | dhogaza@pacifier.com

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 536

    (As at October 2018)

    State Bird - Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta

Checklist

  • iGoTerra Checklist

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

  • ABA Field Guide to Birds of Oregon

    By Dave Irons & Brian E Small | Scott & Nix, Inc | 2018 | Paperback | 368 pages, colour photos | ISBN: 9781935622680 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of Oregon

    By Roger Burrows & Jeff Gilligan | Lone Pine Publishing | 2016 | Paperback | 384 pages, colour illustrations, map | ISBN: 9781772130225 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of Oregon : A General Reference

    Edited by Mathew G Hunter, Alan L Contreras &David B Marshall | Oregon State University | 2006 | Paperback | 752 pages, illustrations, maps | ISBN: 0870711822 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of Oregon: Status and Distribution

    Edited by J Gilligan | Cinclus | 1994 | Paperback | 330 pages, b/w photos, maps | ISBN: 0963776517 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
  • Handbook of Oregon Birds: A Field Companion to Birds of Oregon

    By Hendrik G Herlyn, Alan L Contreras & Ramiel Papish | Oregon State University Press | 2009 | Paperback | ISBN: 9780870715716 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • National Geographic Field Guide to Birds: Washington and Oregon

    Edited by Jonathan Alderfer | National Geographic Society | 2006 | Paperback | 272 pages, maps, photos, drawings | ISBN: 0792253132 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Oregon Birds: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species

    By James R Kavanagh & Raymond Leung | Waterford Press | 2001 | Unbound | 12 pages, colour illustrations | ISBN: 158355128X Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • The Birder's Guide to Oregon

    By Joseph E Evanich, Jr. | Portland Audubon Society | 2003 | Paperback | 288 pages, b/w illustrations, b/w maps | ISBN: 0931686091 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
Organisations
  • Audubon Society in Oregon

    Webpage
    Offices & Chapters; Centers & Sanctuaries; Upcoming Events
  • Audubon Society of Corvallis

    Website
    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

    Website
    Our mission is to encourage residents and visitors to protect and enjoy the native birds, other wildlife, and habitats found on the Central Oregon Coast.
  • Audubon Society of Portland

    Website
    The Audubon Society of Portland promotes the understanding, enjoyment, and protection of native birds, other wildlife and their habitats. The Audubon Society of Portland believes that inspiring all people to love and protect nature is best achieved when we embrace diversity as a value and practice. In the same way an ecosystem needs many types of plants and wildlife, an organization thrives when it includes a diversity of people and perspectives. We recognize that inequities are widespread and create gaps between our present reality and our aspirations.
  • Cape Arago Audubon Society

    Website
    Our mission is to promote appreciation and understanding of the birds and natural environment of Coos County through education, field trips, and local restoration and conservation projects that enhance our community
  • East Cascades Audubon Society

    Website
    Welcome to the East Cascades Audubon Society. We are a local organization, specializing in Central Oregon ornithology. We gather local data and both sponsor and participate in projects that help protect local bird populations. Join ECAS and help preserve the birds in this region. We rely on a very active volunteer base.
  • Kalmiopsis Audubon Society

    Website
    Named for the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, the Kalmiopsis Audubon Society has been the primary local, conservation advocacy group in Curry County for over 35 years.
  • Klamath Basin Audubon Society

    Website
    We invite you to join us in the Klamath Basin Audubon Society, your local chapter of the National Audubon Society. Becoming a member will help you stay involved with local conservation efforts. You can download an application and mail it to the listed address.
  • Klamath Basin Coalition

    Website
    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

    Website
    Lane County Audubon Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of and education about our natural environment, with a primary focus on birds and other wildlife and their habitats. Lane County Audubon members know that conservation begins with enjoyment of birds and nature. The chapter sponsors bird walks and field trips every month. For those who cannot participate in those activities, as well as those who want to enrich their outdoor experiences, we hold monthly program meetings featuring speakers and slide shows. Our program meetings are an opportunity for you to meet like-minded people and have a good time.
  • Nature Conservancy in Oregon

    Webpage
    The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends, and for nearly 60 years, we've been working in Oregon to do just that. We're bringing people together to solve the biggest conservation challenges of our time by transforming policy, inspiring communities to take action, protecting vital habitats and natural resources and improving livelihoods.
  • Oregon Birding Association

    Website
    The mission of the Oregon Birding Association is to promote education about birds, and further the knowledge, enjoyment, and science of birds and birding in Oregon.
  • Prescott Western Bluebird Recovery Project

    Website
    Welcome to Prescott Bluebird Recovery Project’s (PBRP) home page. We hope your visit is enjoyable as well as educational. We are an all-volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation of the Western Bluebird within the northern portion of Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
  • Rogue Valley Audubon Society

    Website
    he 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. Members enjoy observing wildlife and seek its protection through efforts to advance public understanding of the relationships of all life forms and the consequences of interfering with these relationships.
  • Salem Audubon Society

    Website
    The Salem Audubon Society is a chapter of the National Audubon Society. Our mission is to connect people to Nature, through education focused on birds, other wildlife and their habitats, and conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems. To this end, we promote the enjoyment of wildlife and the stewardship of the environment with birding field trips, nature walks, monthly meetings and a variety of traveling educational programs. We involve volunteers in education, advocacy, conservation and restoration projects.
  • Siskiyou Audubon Society

    Website
    Siskiyou Audubon Society is Josephine County's independent Chapter of National Audubon Society. Our Mission is to promote the welfare of birds and other wildlife through habitat enhancement and education. Our primary focus is on our local community, our local schools, and issues of the Pacific Northwest.
  • Umpqua Valley Audubon Society

    Website
    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

    Website
    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
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • BS Ten Mile Creek Sanctuary

    WebpageSatellite View
    Located on the coast near Yachats, Ore., the Audubon Society of Portland's Ten Mile Creek Sanctuary is a 216-acre reserve of extraordinary ecological importance. It includes the largest intact stand of coastal temperate rainforest of Sitka Spruce and Western Hemlock in the lower 48 states and is home to the federally listed Marbled Murrelet and Northern Spotted Owl. Other sanctuary species include Roosevelt Elk, Black-tailed Deer, Cougar, Black Bear, Bald Eagle and other birds of prey. The creek has runs of threatened Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Trout.
  • Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Our mission is to provide care for injured and orphaned wildlife, and to foster a connection between people and wildlife through education.
  • IBA East Sand Island

    InformationSatellite View
    East Sand Island is a highly modified natural island, five miles inland from the mouth of the Columbia River. It is low-lying, long, and narrow, about 1 kilometer in length and about 200 yards wide at its widest, and has an area of about 50 acres. East Sand Island is the nesting site of the largest Caspian Tern colony in the world (ca. 9,900 breeding pairs). The colony represents about 67% of the Pacific coast population, about 25% of the North American population and perhaps 10% of the worldwide population. It also is a nesting site for the largest known Double-crested Cormorant colony, currently about 12,000 breeding pairs. The colony represents about 41% of the entire breeding population of the Western North American population. There is an increasing number of Brandt's Cormorants nesting amongst the DCCO colony, numbering over 700 breeding pairs.
  • NWR Bandon Marsh

    WebpageSatellite 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…
  • NWR Goat Island

    InformationSatellite View
    The southernmost coastal IBA in Oregon, about 2 miles northwest of Brookings, just offshore of Harris Beach State Park, Curry County. At 21 acres, Goat Island is the largest island along the Oregon coast. It was the first unit comprising the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Goat Island hosts 24% of the statewide nesting Leach's Storm-Petrels and more than 109,000 nesting seabirds comprising 11 species. The island serves as a night roost for thousands of Aleutian Canada geese in the spring and a wintering area for a small group (40) of Dusky Canada geese.
  • NWR Malheur

    WebpageSatellite 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…
  • NWR Three Arch Rocks

    InformationSatellite View
    On the northern Oregon coast about 2 miles south of Cape Meares and 1 mile west of Oceanside, Tillamook County. This site includes three large rocks and six small rocks totaling 15 acres. The four largest rocks serve as seabird breeding colonies, including Finley Rock (219-054), Middle Rock (219-055), Shag Rock (219-056), and Seal Rock (219-057). Shag Rock contains low vegetation on the north slope and Finley Rock contains vegetation on the north and east slopes and is the tallest rock at over 300 feet above sea level. Twelve species of seabirds breed here totaling 226,093 birds. This includes 30% of the Common Murres breeding in Oregon and 21% of all Common Murres breeding in the eastern Pacific south of Alaska. This site also harbors 60% of the Tufted Puffin breeding population in Oregon. Over 800 Brown Pelicans (Endangered) have been seen here roosting and up to 13 Bald Eagles (Threatened) have been observed preying on seabirds.
  • NWR Tule Lake

    WebpageSatellite 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…
  • NWR Whalehead Island

    InformationSatellite View
    On the southern Oregon coast off the mouth of Whalehead Creek, less then a mile south of Samuel H. Boardmand State Park, southern Curry County. This site includes four rocks that serve as major seabird breeding colonies including Whalehead Island (270-108), Unnamed Rock (270-109), Unnamed Rock (270-110) and Unnamed Rock (270-106). Most of these rocks are heavily vegetated and provide habitat for burrow-nesting seabirds except for 270-110, which contains significant rocky exposed areas where common murres nest. This site contains more than 167,000 breeding seabirds, including 29% of the Oregon Leach's Storm-Petrel nesting population and 5% of the Common Murre population (USFWS census data).
  • SF Elliott

    InformationSatellite View
    The Elliott State Forest is approximately 92,000 acres of public forestland, located in Coos County. It was historically designated a State forest to generate revenue for the Common School Fund, but due to steep slopes and the presence of endangered species, about half the forest has never been logged.
  • SP Depoe Bay

    WebpageSatellite 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.
Forums & Mailing Lists
Guides & Tour Operators


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

  • 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!
  • Oregon Pelagic Tours

    Tour Operator
    At Oregon Pelagic Tours, we seek to provide all participants with a quality bird and mammal watching experience. Our friendly and knowledgeable guides pride themselves on their excellent customer service, and are happy to help customers improve their identification skills and knowledge of seabird behavior and biology.
Trip Reports


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

  • 2013 [10 October] - Charles Spagnoli

    Report
    …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….
  • 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...
Other Links
  • Bird Notes

    Webpage
    This web site is designed to gather information on bird distribution throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho and British Columbia. Archiving bird lists for the Northwest birding community since 1999.
  • Birding on the Oregon Coast

    Webpage
    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 April through August, and pelicans, common murrers, and puffins are at the coast only during these months...
  • Birds

    Website
    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

    Website
    Basically a site to record the Christmas bird counts
  • Journal of Oregon Ornithology

    Webpage
    JOO is a not-for-profit journal published by Gahmken (pronounced gahm' ken) Press, P.O. Box 1467, Newport, Oregon 97365 USA.
  • Oregon Birding Trails

    Website
    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

    Website
    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

    Website
    Great stuff from a completely homemade site.
  • Wampole's list of the birds of the Coos Bay area

    Webpage
    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…
Blogs
  • Greg Gillson - Pacific NW Backyard Birder

    BLOG
    Last update December 2013 - Enjoying and learning about common birds in British Columbia, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and northern California…
  • John Riutta – The Well Read Naturalist

    BLOG
    Sharing the joys, discoveries, quandries, and other psychological phenomena arising from encountering anew as an amateur something I have done professionally for years….
Photographers & Artists
  • Photographer & Artist - Noah Stryker

    Gallery
    Noah Strycker is an 18-year old birder, photographer, illustrator, and writer based in Creswell, Oregon…
  • Photographer - Dennis S Davenport Photography

    Gallery
    Nature photos focusing on Birds
  • Photographer - Rick Cameron

    Gallery
    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.

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