Fall is a wonderful time to go birding in Oregon. The state is home to some of the most striking scenery of the Pacific Northwest, and it also plays host to an impressive variety of birds. With a rich mixture of nesters augmented by migrants and returning wintering species, birding in Oregon is very pleasant during this time of year. Exploring the coast, mountains, and the Great Basin plains of this large and diverse state, all at the peak of fall migration, we'll have a western birding adventure you'll be sure to remember.

We'll start by birding the rocky and picturesque coastlines for which Oregon is so famous. From the coastal town of Newport south to Coos Bay, we'll explore various beaches and lagoons as we search for 20+ species of shorebirds including Black Oystercatcher, Wandering Tattler, Black Turnstone, and Surfbird, as well as gulls, terns, cormorants, and other offshore species. We'll seawatch from the coast, where we hope to see migrating loons, scoters, terns, and maybe some Sooty Shearwaters. The rich offshore waters host a variety of alcids as well, and we'll hope for Pigeon Guillemot, Common Murre, Marbled Murrelet, and maybe even a Rhinoceros or Cassin's Auklet.

Eventually we'll pull ourselves away, leave the ocean behind, and ascend to 7000 feet in the Cascade Mountains, where we'll explore the legendary and beautiful Crater Lake National Park before continuing on to the town of Bend. Here, several lofty dormant volcanic peaks, some more than 10,000 feet high, command the horizon. Their dense forests of pine, spruce, and fir are home to the likes of Northern Goshawk (rare), Three-toed (rare) and Black-backed woodpeckers, Steller's and Canada jays, American Dipper, and other high-elevation specialties. We may venture out one night to take a stab at Great Gray Owl (rare) or maybe watch as hundreds of Vaux's Swifts spiral around their roosting chimney at dusk.

As we descend the eastern slope of the Cascades, the moisture-loving Douglas Firs yield to Ponderosa Pines and other vegetation more tolerant of the drier climate typical of the vast Great Basin Desert. Since water is in short supply on this side of the mountains, the birding can be particularly good in areas where small springs and streams occur. Among the many birds that we can expect in these areas are Williamson's, Red-naped, and Red-breasted sapsuckers, White-headed Woodpecker, Rock and Canyon wrens, Mountain and Western bluebirds, and MacGillivray's, Townsend's, and Hermit warblers, plus a variety of resident birds and numbers of southbound migrant species.

We will conclude our tour with a visit to productive Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Malheur, on the high plateau of the eastern Oregon desert, is considered by many to be one of the dozen best birding locations in the country. The refuge's 181,000 acres encompass marsh, small lakes, sagebrush flats, irrigated meadows, willow and cottonwood riparian growth, and alkali flats, and the plantings around the refuge headquarters make it perhaps one of the finest areas for concentrating migrant birds in the Northwest. While at Malheur and in the surrounding area we should see a wide variety of water- and landbirds, including Eared, Horned, Western, and Clark's grebes, American White Pelican, Trumpeter Swan, Cinnamon Teal, Swainson's and Ferruginous hawks, Prairie Falcon, Sandhill Crane, Black-necked Stilt, Wilson's Phalarope, Sage Thrasher, Yellow-headed Blackbird, and Brewer's Sparrow.

Join us for a great birding adventure in the Pacific Northwest!

Select the KEY INFO tab or click here for our itinerary plus space requests, status, fees, limits, and guides for any departure.

Client comment
"A superb experience. This tour was almost perfect, largely because of guide Cory Gregory. Cory's planning was unparalleled. Every move was carefully considered, and the entire tour ran like clockwork. Cory's ability to find the right birds in the right places is astounding and was fully on display on this tour. In addition, he is remarkably considerate of participants.... Cory earned the highest accolades I can imagine. Your office service was great, as always." M.G. OREGON: FROM THE COAST TO THE CASCADES 2019