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Field Guides Tour Report
Aug 29, 2018 to Sep 8, 2018
Cory Gregory

Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the USA, is a must-see destination and this Field Guides tour visits this beautiful National Park. The vistas are amazing! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

This tour, a new offering in our ever-growing list of fun domestic tours, turned out to be quite birdy, filled with amazing scenery, great food, and of course, a fun bunch of birders! Fall is a productive time to visit the Pacific Northwest and our tour hit migration squarely which helped us top 200 species! Additionally, the weather really cooperated and we had no issues with rain or smoke. All in all, this ended up being a fantastic way to get to know some of what makes Oregon so special and fun to bird.

We kicked things off in Eugene where we spent a morning birding the famous Fern Ridge Reservoir area including the Royal Avenue access and Perkins Peninsula Park. Right off the bat, we were seeing fantastic shorebirds like Buff-breasted, Baird's, and a Stilt sandpiper. A friendly flock of Bushtits visited us, we scoped both Western and Clark's grebes side-by-side, and even a Virginia Rail popped into view. That afternoon we explored Marys Peak where we were fortunate to cross paths with a flock of Mountain Quail! By the end of the day, we were listening to fog horns in Newport.

Our full day in Newport was spent visiting a variety of oceanside parks which yielded stunning scenery and a completely new suite of birds. We scoped loons, grebes, murrelets, murres, terns, and even a selection of Gray Whales. A Peregrine Falcon perched overhead at Yaquina Head, a trio of Harlequin Ducks bobbed in the surf, and White-crowned Sparrows dotted the boardwalk. A visit to the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport was another fun way to experience the local wildlife, complete with seeing a 40 lb octopus guarding eggs in the aquarium.

As we headed south, with gorgeous vistas at about at every corner, we stopped to enjoy scenery at Ona Beach State Park, Seal Rock Wayside, Alsea Bay, Yachats State Park, and others. Besides the scenery, we found Black Oystercatchers, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Band-tailed Pigeons, and a myriad of gulls and shorebirds. We explored a breezy jetty along the Siuslaw River highlighted by Wandering Tattlers and, by the end of the day, we were watching Black Turnstones and Surfbirds near Bandon.

The following morning was highlighted by a friendly Wrentit, a collection of Snowy Plovers on the sandy beaches south of Bandon, more rocky shorebirds near the Coquille River jetty, and even a White-tailed Kite perched distantly at Bandon Marsh NWR. Before long, it was time to head east and we made our way to Roseburg. En route, we added Willow Flycatcher at the covered bridge and even a pair of Golden Eagles high overhead.

Stewart Park in Roseburg was extremely birdy (yes, lots of pigeons) and we had amazing encounters with Green Heron, Western Bluebird, Anna's Hummingbird, and many more. Farther upslope, we explored the moss-ladened forests and rushing streams and came away with American Dippers at a roadside rest. Closer to Crater Lake, Mountain Chickadees soon became the norm, a flock of Lewis's Woodpeckers moved through, and the Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels were oh-so-friendly. It's hard to describe the vastness of Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States, but it's safe to say that we were all in awe. We had beautiful views of this iconic crater and even enjoyed lunch in the lodge right on the rim!

We noticed a transition in the forests as we spent time around Bend; the firs gave way to the Ponderosa Pines and it became a much drier forest. We visited the quaint town of Sisters where we visited the Ponderosa Lodge where Pygmy Nuthatches kept us on our feet. In town, near the high school, we crossed paths with a wonderful flock of Pinyon Jays and even a Black-backed Woodpecker dropped in. Farther uphill, we enjoyed seeing Red-breasted Sapsucker, Williamson's Sapsucker, and a few Red Crossbills. The afternoon was spent exploring areas south of Bend such as the Sunriver Nature Center where a pair of Prairie Falcons soared overhead, a Trumpeter Swan lurked in the pond, Mountain Bluebirds dotted the fences, and Orange-crowned Warblers came out of the woodwork.

The next morning we birded the popular Hatfield Ponds northeast of Bend where we added a slew of new species like Tundra Swan, Greater White-fronted Goose, a variety of ducks, Red-necked Phalarope, Say's Phoebe, Gray Flycatcher, Western Meadowlark, and many more. But then it was time to start driving east and we made our way through Brothers (same time as Lazarus was), visited Chickahominy Reservoir to enjoy Sagebrush Sparrows and Sage Thrashers, the Sage Hen Rest Area, and finally the Hines area. Greenhouse Lane and Potter Swamp Road delivered our first White-faced Ibis and who can forget about the trio of Burrowing Owls!

The main draw of our visit to eastern Oregon is the famed Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, an 187,000 acre refuge created by Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. Although the water levels were falling rapidly, Benson Pond was still hosting stilts, avocets, and a plethora of waterbirds. The headquarters area, one of the most well-known migrant traps in the west, was exceptionally birdy; trees were alive with Warbling Vireos, Western Tanagers, Lewis's Woodpeckers, and warblers like Chestnut-sided, Townsend's, Yellow, Nashville, Yellow-rumped, and Orange-crowned. Meanwhile, the Yellow-headed Blackbirds were glowing in the morning light and the Great Horned Owls stood guard near the gift shop. We then made our way up to nearly 10,000 feet to explore Steens Mountain, an island in the sky of southeast Oregon. Rock Wrens hopped around the rim, Golden Eagles and Prairie Falcons soared overhead, vistas at Kiger Gorge were breathtaking, and we even managed to find a Calliope Hummingbird feeding at the endemic thistles along the roadside.

We birded at the beautiful Malheur National Forest north of Burns the next morning where Townsend's Solitaires sang, a Cassin's Vireo gave a few last song phrases of summer, and the cascading song of Canyon Wren worked its way down the slopes. Driving back to the west towards Eugene, our final stop was a magical one complete with multiple Sooty Grouse parading on the road in front of us. What a way to end a fun trip through Oregon!

On behalf of Field Guides, I want to thank you all for joining me on this Oregonian adventure spanning the coast, the Cascades, and beyond. You all made it a lot of fun! Thanks also to Karen in our Austin office for working hard to have everything in line and ready to go.

Until we meet again, good birding!

-- Cory

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE (Anser albifrons) – Our tour barely caught the front end of migration and we scored a single white-front at Hatfield Lake near Bend.
CANADA GOOSE (Branta canadensis) – Common and widespread, these big geese were seen every day of tour.
TRUMPETER SWAN (Cygnus buccinator) – It required a little searching but we eventually found the long-staying swan at Sunriver Nature Center south of Bend.
TUNDRA SWAN (Cygnus columbianus) – A couple of these northern swans spent much of the summer at Hatfield Lake near Bend.
WOOD DUCK (Aix sponsa) – More than a dozen of these attractive ducks were seen swimming in the ponds at Sunriver Nature Center.
CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera) – A few were scoped at Hatfield Ponds and again along Potter Swamp Road near Hines.
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata) – Fairly common on tour, these dabblers were seen in a variety of freshwater habitats including Fern Ridge Reservoir, Stewart Park in Roseburg, Hatfield Ponds, etc.
GADWALL (Mareca strepera) – A couple of these were spotted at the South Jetty of the Coquille River, Hatfield Ponds, and Chickahominy Reservoir.
AMERICAN WIGEON (Mareca americana) – Fairly common in freshwater habitats. Our largest number came from Hatfield Ponds near Bend where nearly 100 were packed into the lakes.

Sooty Grouse, often a shadow-loving and difficult species to track down, performed very well for us and it remained one of the highlights of the tour. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos) – Common and widespread on tour at a variety of wetlands.
NORTHERN PINTAIL (Anas acuta) – This long-necked and graceful dabbler was also fairly common on tour.
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (Anas crecca) – Our smallest dabbler, these were spied at Fern Ridge, Myrtle Point Marsh, Hatfield Ponds, etc.
RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris) – We chanced into a couple at Sunriver Nature Center and again at Hatfield Ponds near Bend.
LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis) – Only a few of these divers were found at Hatfield Ponds northeast of Bend.
HARLEQUIN DUCK (Histrionicus histrionicus) – An attractive (even at this season) duck that favors the rocky shorelines of the coast. We saw them at Yaquina Head during our time near Newport.
SURF SCOTER (Melanitta perspicillata) – Good numbers of these seaducks were seen migrating offshore during our time near Newport.
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (Melanitta fusca) – A few these bold ducks were spotted as they migrated south offshore of Boiler Bay.
BUFFLEHEAD (Bucephala albeola) – The Hatfield Ponds near Bend was the only spot we encountered this tiny diver.
HOODED MERGANSER (Lophodytes cucullatus) – A few of these were seen at Fern Ridge Reservoir via the Royal Ave access on our first day of birding.

This tour has a wealth of fantastic scenery and another top-notch view was of Kiger Gorge on our way up Steens Mountain. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

COMMON MERGANSER (Mergus merganser) – A lone female was seen sitting on a rock offshore from the Face Rock Wayside.
RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis) – Both Hatfield Ponds and Chickahominy Reservoir hosted this attractive and familiar stifftail.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
MOUNTAIN QUAIL (Oreortyx pictus) – It always takes a bit of luck to find these amazing quail but we had a taste of that luck on our first afternoon when a covey was seen scampering on the slopes of Marys Peak.
CALIFORNIA QUAIL (Callipepla californica) – Both cute and abundant during our time in eastern Oregon. Our first encounter however was a charming family that crossed the road at Bandon Marsh NWR.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
RING-NECKED PHEASANT (Phasianus colchicus) – A few of these introduced birds were spotted during our time at Malheur NWR in eastern Oregon. [I]
SOOTY GROUSE (Dendragapus fuliginosus) – Woohoo! Our final afternoon of birding was highlighted by several of these parading around on the road right in front of the van! In 2006, Blue Grouse was split into Dusky and Sooty grouse.
WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo) – We saw a couple of gobblers along a roadside between Roseburg and Crater Lake.
Gaviidae (Loons)
RED-THROATED LOON (Gavia stellata) – Only a couple of these thin-billed loons were seen offshore on the day we drove south from Newport. When they turned just right, we could actually see some of the reddish color on the throat.
PACIFIC LOON (Gavia pacifica) – Rather common offshore during our time along the coast.
COMMON LOON (Gavia immer) – Despite the name, this isn't the most common loon along the coast. We saw one offshore at Seal Rock Wayside but that was our only one.

We crossed paths with numerous California Quail and participant Tony Nastase beautifully photographed this family group showing the youngsters with their tiny plumes.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps) – Common in freshwater habitats throughout the tour.
RED-NECKED GREBE (Podiceps grisegena) – A wintering species along the coast, only a few of these recent arrivals were tallied.
EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis) – A dozen or two were present at Chickahominy Reservoir as we headed east towards Hines.
WESTERN GREBE (Aechmophorus occidentalis) – These were fairly common on large bodies of water. We even saw a few with youngsters at Fern Ridge Reservoir. Unlike the following species, these have black feathering that extends down to below the eye.
CLARK'S GREBE (Aechmophorus clarkii) – This is another large, black-and-white grebe that we saw at Fern Ridge Reservoir on our first morning of birding.
Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)
SOOTY SHEARWATER (Ardenna grisea) – A few of these dark tubenoses were wheeling over the Pacific during one of our seawatches.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
BRANDT'S CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) – This saltwater cormorant was seen well at a variety of spots along the coast such as in Newport and at Yaquina Head.
PELAGIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) – Small, slender, with an all-dark face and bill. This is another saltwater cormorant we saw well in Newport and other coastal areas.
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax auritus) – This large cormorant was also fairly common on tour and we had nice comparisons in Newport.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) – Our first morning of birding at Fern Ridge netted us this black-and-white giant.

At Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, we found a pair of regal Great Horned Owls that stayed put for us to enjoy. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis) – Fairly common offshore during our time along the coast. We'd often see a line of these soaring low over the water, one behind the other.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
AMERICAN BITTERN (Botaurus lentiginosus) – It's not a species we expected to fly over the forested highway en route to Newport but that's what happened!
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – Common throughout the tour in wet habitats.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Seen daily during the first half of our tour. We even saw a collection of 21 of them at Stewart Park in Roseburg.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – We had a brief look at one in flight at Malheur NWR.
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) – A quiet and sometimes reclusive heron, this was another species we added at Stewart Park in Roseburg.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi) – Seen several times during our visit to Malheur NWR and the wet fields south of Hines.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Common and seen daily.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – We enjoyed seeing good numbers of this fish-eating raptor. In fact, they were seen on all but a few days of tour.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – A great sighting during our time at Bandon Marsh NWR. The Ni-Les'tun Overlook provided us with distant but identifiable looks at this graceful and uncommon raptor.

A pair of Prairie Falcons soared effortlessly overhead at the Sunriver Nature Center giving us unsurpassed looks at this speedy predator. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

GOLDEN EAGLE (Aquila chrysaetos) – Our first sighting of this impressive raptor came as a surprise between Bandon and Roseburg. We later saw a few more in the expansive sage flats near Malheur NWR. What an impressive bird!
NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus hudsonius) – This familiar raptor, often seeing soaring low over grassy and wet habitats, was spotted a handful of times including at Fern Ridge, Bandon Marsh NWR, and Steens Mountain.
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatus) – This tiny accipiter was seen briefly at the campground up near the top of Marys Peak on our first afternoon.
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii) – Although seen several times, this long-tailed raptor made a memorable appearance as it circled around us at Hatfield Ponds near Bend.
BALD EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) – Certainly not an abundant bird in these parts, these popped up just a couple of times including at the Alsea Bay Bridge south of Newport.
RED-SHOULDERED HAWK (ELEGANS) (Buteo lineatus elegans) – Our first sighting of this colorful subspecies came right away at Fern Ridge on our first morning. We'd see another at Benson Pond in Malheur NWR towards the end of the trip.
SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni) – We just caught the tail end of migration by finding one or two on the drive to Malheur NWR from Bend.
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis) – A common and widespread raptor throughout the trip. We even saw one running after prey in a field near Eugene!
FERRUGINOUS HAWK (Buteo regalis) – A large and gorgeous buteo of wide open spaces; one was seen as we drove south to Malheur NWR early one morning.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
VIRGINIA RAIL (Rallus limicola) – Although secretive, these popped into view a couple times for us including at Fern Ridge Reservoir and then again at Bandon Marsh NWR.

It's a harsh landscape but the top of Steens Mountain is an interesting place with an amazing view. Here's a photo by participant Tony Nastase as we approached the rim.

AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana) – Common at a few freshwater wetlands like the Hatfield Ponds near Bend.
Gruidae (Cranes)
SANDHILL CRANE (Antigone canadensis) – It wasn't until we approached Malheur NWR that we started seeing these impressive giants in fields and in flight.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus) – Benson Pond in Malheur NWR was hosting a couple of these spindly-legged shorebirds.
AMERICAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra americana) – Like the previous species, we found these interesting shorebirds feeding in Benson Pond at Malheur NWR.
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
BLACK OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus bachmani) – A wonderful and distinctive shorebird of the West Coast. We saw these well on many occasions including a great show from the south jetty in Bandon.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – A lone bird was scoped on the flats at Bandon Marsh NWR.
SNOWY PLOVER (Charadrius nivosus) – Our stop at China Creek south of Bandon yielded scope views of this pale, sand-loving, and threatened plover species.
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus) – We had good chances to study this small plover at Fern Ridge near Eugene on our first day of birding. We saw a few more in the small wet area at Ona Beach State Park as well.
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus) – Common and widespread.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
BLACK TURNSTONE (Arenaria melanocephala) – A classic rocky-shore species found only on the West Coast of North America. We eventually caught up to these interesting shorebirds and saw quite a collection near the south jetty in Bandon.

Oregon is host to a wide range of habitats, some of which might not be expected by visitors. We enjoyed Burrowing Owls in the dry upland desert of eastern Orgon south of Hines. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

SURFBIRD (Calidris virgata) – Like the previous species, we found this coastal specialty on the tidal rocks near Bandon.
STILT SANDPIPER (Calidris himantopus) – This was a surprise! This migrant, which is very rare in Oregon, performed quite well at Fern Ridge Reservoir when we walked in from Royal Ave.
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – Very pale in their nonbreeding plumage, this sand-runner was spotted from the Face Rock Wayside.
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (Calidris bairdii) – It was a treat seeing this uncommon, long-winged migrant several times including at Fern Ridge Reservoir, Ona Beach State Park, Hatfield Lake, and Chickahominy Reservoir.
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla) – A tiny shorebird with yellow legs. These ended up being fairly common most places that had habitat.
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER (Calidris subruficollis) – A very rare migrant in Oregon, and perhaps the rarest sighting of our tour, this beautiful shorebird turned up off Royal Avenue at Fern Ridge Reservoir.
PECTORAL SANDPIPER (Calidris melanotos) – We added this uncommon migrant to the checklist at the Myrtle Point Marsh east of Roseburg.
WESTERN SANDPIPER (Calidris mauri) – The most common peep at Fern Ridge Reservoir, Hatfield Lake, and other shorebirdy spots. These are larger than Least Sandpipers and with black legs, and a longer bill.
SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus griseus) – Only a few were seen on saltwater flats during our time along the coast.
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus) – Good numbers of these medium-sized shorebirds were foraging off Royal Ave at Fern Ridge Reservoir on our first day. We saw a few more out in Malheur NWR as well.
WILSON'S SNIPE (Gallinago delicata) – Although common, these often are shy and retiring. Still, we managed to see this long-billed shorebird on three different days.

One of the highlights of this tour was the woodpecker diversity. We found a fantastic flock of Lewis's Woodpeckers near Crater Lake which was enjoyed by all. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus lobatus) – It was a real treat to see this bizarre shorebird so well at Hatfield Ponds near Bend. Those ended up being our only sighting.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – One of these fun shorebirds, complete with the distinctive tail-bobbing, was spotted at Perkins Peninsula Park at Fern Reservoir on our first day.
WANDERING TATTLER (Tringa incana) – Success! This sought-after western shorebird was eventually seen well at the south jetty of the Suislaw River and then again at the Coquille River. This is in the Tringa genus alongside yellowlegs.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – This sturdy Tringa was seen on about half of our days in appropriate shorebird habitat and they always outnumbered the following species.
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) – Rather uncommon, only a few of these slender shorebirds were found on tour including singles at Fern Ridge Reservoir and again at Bandon Marsh NWR.
Alcidae (Auks, Murres, and Puffins)
COMMON MURRE (Uria aalge) – A couple of these alcids were seen offshore during our time in the Newport area.
PIGEON GUILLEMOT (Cepphus columba) – This is another western seabird that we saw during our time along the coast. In breeding plumage, the adults have a very striking black-and-white pattern.
MARBLED MURRELET (Brachyramphus marmoratus) – Much smaller than the previous two species, these mini-murres were seen just a couple of times as they floated offshore the Newport area.
CASSIN'S AUKLET (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) – It was a bonus to see this small gray alcid swimming offshore! Although it was distant, this is a species that is easily missed from land.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
BONAPARTE'S GULL (Chroicocephalus philadelphia) – A singleton at Fern Ridge Reservoir on our first outing was our only sighting of the trip.
RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis) – One of the common, medium-sized gulls on tour. Our first came from Fern Ridge Reservoir on our first day.

Our tour enjoyed 4 different species of hummingbirds, one of which was this Rufous Hummingbird nicely photographed by participant Tony Nastase.

WESTERN GULL (Larus occidentalis) – Much of our time along the coast was spent with these big, black-backed brutes.
CALIFORNIA GULL (Larus californicus) – This was our most common medium-sized gull of the trip and they were seen on about half of our tour days.
HERRING GULL (Larus argentatus) – We identified one of these, a recent fall migrant, near the jetty in Bandon.
GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL (Larus glaucescens) – We had a nice comparison between this wintering species and the nearby Western Gulls at Boiler Bay; the wingtips of the Glaucous-winged match the gray color of the mantle.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – Our visit to Boiler Bay matched up perfectly with a big push of migrating terns and we watched as several dozen of these orange-billed terns flew south.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Widespread in urban areas. [I]
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata) – This big, native pigeon was seen well along the coast on a couple of our days. Our first was at Ona Beach State Park.
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) – Common and widespread, these were tallied on each of our tour days. [I]
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura) – Another common and familiar dove species, these were seen on most days in a variety of habitats.
Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)
BARN OWL (Tyto alba) – We were incredibly lucky to be at the right place at the right time to see one of these nocturnal predators flush from pines at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.
Strigidae (Owls)
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – A lovely pair of these giants roosted right outside of the gift shop at Malheur NWR.
BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia) – Yay! This fantastic dry-country owl put on a great show for us near Hines. We found a little family group and watched them as they watched us.

Another woodpecker joining the party was this western specialist, the Red-breasted Sapsucker. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Apodidae (Swifts)
VAUX'S SWIFT (Chaetura vauxi) – The western sister-species of Chimney Swift, these ended up being seen on a majority of our days including a large flock at Stewart Park in Roseburg.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus alexandri) – A female-type had been visiting the feeders at Malheur NWR headquarters and it was still there during our morning visit.
ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD (Calypte anna) – We had a great experience watching this beautiful western hummer as it perched nicely for us at Stewart Park in Roseburg.
RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus rufus) – Our first sighting was a fly-by at Stewart Park in Roseburg and then we saw them again at the feeders at Malheur NWR headquarters.
CALLIOPE HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus calliope) – We saw a previously-found tiny hummingbird feeding from the thistles near Kiger Gorge of Steens Mountain. Although many birders first thought it was a Broad-tailed, our photos were able to confirm it as a Calliope instead; the very short tail and how the folded wings were the same length as the tail were good fieldmarks for this.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon) – Always a fun bird to see, these were tallied on most of our days in various wet habitats. As usual, their presence was often given away by their loud, rattling call.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
LEWIS'S WOODPECKER (Melanerpes lewis) – We crossed paths with a wonderful flock of these at Crater Lake National Park and then again at Malheur NWR headquarters. These are named after Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame.
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus) – One of the first birds of the tour was this comical woodpecker along Royal Avenue west of Eugene. It was a great way to kick off the trip!
WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus thyroideus) – An easily-missable woodpecker! We found a female high up at the Cold Spring Campground near Sisters.
RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus ruber) – This woodpecker is a specialty of the northwest and we had a good encounter with one in the mountains up from Sisters. We could see their recent handiwork, in the form of sap wells, on the surrounding trees.
DOWNY WOODPECKER (Picoides pubescens) – A familiar and small woodpecker, these weren't very common on tour and our only sighting came from Stewart Park in Roseburg.

Surely one of the highlights of the trip was a flock of 100-200 Pinyon Jays streamed through overhead! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

HAIRY WOODPECKER (Picoides villosus) – The bigger cousin of the previous species, a few of these were pulled in at places like the Ponderosa Lodge in Sisters, Cold Spring Campground, and the Sheridan Burn area.
WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKER (Picoides albolarvatus) – We had a brief encounter with one high up in the pines at Cold Spring Campground near Sisters. Unfortunately it ducked out rather quickly and didn't stick around for long.
BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER (Picoides arcticus) – This rare woodpecker was seen briefly in the middle of Sisters, strangely enough. This male flew in while we were admiring the flock of Pinyon Jays near the high school.
NORTHERN FLICKER (Colaptes auratus) – Fairly common throughout, especially during our time around Bend and farther east in Malheur NWR.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – Seen numerous times, often perched on power-lines, in open country.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – This magnificent bird of prey showed up every day day for a while, especially during our time near the coast. We enjoyed scope views of one as it perched on the cliffs above the Yaquina Head Visitor Center.
PRAIRIE FALCON (Falco mexicanus) – A duo of these soared effortlessly overhead at the Sunriver Nature Center.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus sordidulus) – This flycatcher showed up late in the tour at places like Hatfield Ponds near Bend, Malheur NWR headquarters, and at Benson Pond.
WILLOW FLYCATCHER (Empidonax traillii) – It was a bit of a surprise to see two of these foraging in the small clearing at the Sandy Creek Covered Bridge rest area en route to Roseburg.
HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER (Empidonax hammondii) – Our only sighting of this Empid was at Cold Spring Campground near Sisters when one joined a mixed flock of chickadees and vireos.

Oregon is interesting in that it hosts several fairly distinctive subspecies of White-breasted Nuthatch including this bird from the interior population. Photo by participant Tony Nastase.

GRAY FLYCATCHER (Empidonax wrightii) – The downward tail dip and very short primary projection are great field marks for this western Empid. We had fine looks at one near Benson Pond at Malheur NWR.
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) – A couple of friendly phoebes were spotted near the south jetty in Bandon, especially near the duck pond on the entrance road. This flycatcher becomes more and more local the farther north one travels in Oregon.
SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya) – A couple of these open-country, peach-bellied flycatchers were seen at the Hatfield Ponds near Bend.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus) – On an early morning drive south to Malheur NWR, we spotted one of these distinctive predators perched atop some bushes on the west side of the road. Beautiful looks!
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
CASSIN'S VIREO (Vireo cassinii) – One of these handsome western vireos joined a mixed flock at Cold Spring Campground near Sisters.
WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus) – Quite a few of these were seen at the migrant trap of the Malheur NWR headquarters.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
GRAY JAY (Perisoreus canadensis) – A friendly flock was inspecting the parking area at one of the Crater Lake National Park Visitor Centers. Also note that the name of this species has officially reverted back to the original "Canada Jay".
PINYON JAY (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus) – One of the highlights of tour was watching an enormous flock of these nomadic jays stream through the town of Sisters! They gave us repeated great views as they zoomed by overhead for minutes on end.
STELLER'S JAY (Cyanocitta stelleri) – This common but beautiful jay was seen once we reached the coast and the mountains around Bend.
CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY (Aphelocoma californica) – Fairly common along the I-5 corridor and around Bend. Until recently, this was considered a "Western Scrub-Jay" until that species was split into two different species: California Scrub-Jay and Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay.
BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE (Pica hudsonia) – A long-tailed and striking corvid that we enjoyed around Malheur NWR and the open country of eastern Oregon.

We enjoyed three different species of chickadees on this tour including Mountain Chickadee. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

CLARK'S NUTCRACKER (Nucifraga columbiana) – Another member of the Corvid family, this western specialty showed up at the higher elevations around Crater Lake National Park. We saw another couple along Hwy 395 in eastern Oregon later in the trip.
AMERICAN CROW (Corvus brachyrhynchos) – Fairly common throughout the trip but especially in the western half of the state.
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax) – Common and widespread for the entire tour.
Alaudidae (Larks)
HORNED LARK (Eremophila alpestris) – This open-country bird was fairly common high up on Steens Mountain where we saw them at a couple of different overlooks.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis) – Our tour just caught the end of the migration of these big swallows and we saw them at Fern Ridge Reservoir and then again in Newport.
TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor) – Not widespread on this tour, only one was seen at Stewart Park in Roseburg.
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina) – A western species, this colorful swallow was always more numerous than the previous one. We picked it up at Fern Ridge Reservoir, Seal Rock State Wayside, and Stewart Park.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – The most common swallow of the tour, this graceful species was seen nearly every day.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (Poecile atricapillus) – One of the three chickadees we saw on tour, these were spotted at Fern Ridge and Stewart Park.
MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE (Poecile gambeli) – The higher-elevation chickadee on tour, these were common in the mountains near Crater Lake, Bend, and Sisters.
CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE (Poecile rufescens) – One of the more range-restricted chickadees in North America, this northwestern specialty was seen quite well at Ona Beach State Park where an entire flock descended to forage near the parking lot.
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BUSHTIT (Psaltriparus minimus) – These adorable little gray fluffballs were one of the first things we saw on tour at Fern Ridge Reservoir.

Of the wrens we tallied on this tour, perhaps the most obliging was the subtley-marked Rock Wren. Photo by participant Tony Nastase.

Sittidae (Nuthatches)
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta canadensis) – The most widespread nuthatch on tour, these were seen most days, especially in coniferous forests.
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (INTERIOR WEST) (Sitta carolinensis tenuissima) – We noted the nuthatches at places like Sisters Ponderosa Lodge and Cold Springs Campground sound a bit different, that's because these are of the fairly-distinct "interior west" subspecies which could be split out in the future.
PYGMY NUTHATCH (Sitta pygmaea) – Once you find one or two, you usually find 20! We had several fun groups of these flocking nuthatches near Sisters.
Certhiidae (Treecreepers)
BROWN CREEPER (Certhia americana) – After we enjoyed watching the dippers at Susan Creek Recreation Area, we watched a couple of these bark-colored birds creep up some trees nearby.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
ROCK WREN (Salpinctes obsoletus) – Chickahominy Reservoir and Steens Mountain both hosted this fascinating western wren in good numbers.
CANYON WREN (Catherpes mexicanus) – The cascading song of this wren is a classic sound of dry, canyonlands of the West. We got to enjoy that song on our final day as we birded Hwy 395 north of Burns. [*]
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) – Although not abundant, a couple of these surfaced at places like the Sage Hen Rest Area and Malheur NWR headquarters.
PACIFIC WREN (Troglodytes pacificus) – This little brown shadow was seen scurrying around at Ellmaker State Park on our first day. Seeing these secretive wrens can be a real challenge sometimes!
Cinclidae (Dippers)
AMERICAN DIPPER (Cinclus mexicanus) – A wonderful western specialty, these are the only passerines that swim! We saw a couple in the creek as we drove up towards Crater Lake National Park.
Regulidae (Kinglets)
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus satrapa) – We enjoyed good looks at this tiny species at Ona Beach State Park and again at Bandon Marsh NWR.
Paradoxornithidae (Parrotbills, Wrentit, and Allies)
WRENTIT (Chamaea fasciata) – A wonderfully inquisitive individual popped into view at Devils Punchbowl and proceeded to dance around us for several minutes. This is about as far north as this western species reaches.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
WESTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia mexicana) – Seen on several days but our first one was at Stewart Park in Roseburg.

A specialty of California and Oregon, the Wrentit is more often heard than seen. In this case, however, we had quite the view! Photo by participant Tony Nastase.

MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD (Sialia currucoides) – A true gem of the high grasslands of the West. Most amazing was the swarm of 175 of these that descended on Chickahominy Reservoir! They coated the fences, bushes, and rocks as they swarmed to the edge of the water to drink.
TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE (Myadestes townsendi) – One of these western thrushes materialized alongside Benson Pond at Malheur NWR. We had several more singing along Hwy 395 north of Burns on our final morning.
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – It wasn't much to go on but we heard this migrant thrush call a few times at South Beach State Park south of Newport. [*]
AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius) – This classic and common thrush was seen well, especially late in the tour at places like Malheur NWR headquarters where they were one of the most common species.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
SAGE THRASHER (Oreoscoptes montanus) – A sage specialist of the Interior West. We had great luck with a couple of these at Chickahominy Reservoir where our looks couldn't have been better. We would go on to see more south of Hines as well.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) – Common and widespread, seen every day of tour. [I]
Bombycillidae (Waxwings)
CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum) – A fairly common species during our time in western and central Oregon.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Oreothlypis celata) – Our first good looks at this somewhat-plain warbler was at Sunriver Nature Center south of Bend.
NASHVILLE WARBLER (Oreothlypis ruficapilla) – We stirred up one of these at the headquarters of Malheur NWR during our morning birding there.
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas) – A common warbler of wet and brushy areas. We found them at Fern Ridge Reservoir, Stewart Park, Malheur NWR, etc.
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – An exciting find, and not one we expected, one of these rare migrants was spotted at the headquarters of Malheur NWR.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – This widespread warbler species was moving through during our trip and we encountered them several times such as at Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Hatfield Ponds near Bend, and Malheur NWR.

We had no shortage of Mountain Bluebirds including a massive flock that descended on us at Chickahominy Reservoir. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica) – This visitor to the Malheur NWR headquarters was an good find and is a rare bird anywhere in Oregon!
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni) – All of the Yellow-rumpeds we saw looked to be of this subspecies. They were especially common on the second half of the tour at places like Chickahominy Reservoir and Malheur NWR.
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi) – Rather scarce on tour, this western species was seen only at the headquarters of Malheur NWR.
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla) – A pair of these bright warblers were bouncing around the edge of the harbor in Depoe Bay.
Passerellidae (New World Buntings and Sparrows)
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina) – About half a dozen of these were seen in the Sheridan Burn near Sisters. We saw a few more as we birded our way up Steens Mountain as well.
BREWER'S SPARROW (Spizella breweri) – Just a couple of these sage specialists were seen; one at the Sage Hen Rest Area and another on the road up Steens Mountain.
FOX SPARROW (Passerella iliaca) – Cold Spring Campground was hosting one of these big sparrows, most-likely in the "Thick-billed" group.
DARK-EYED JUNCO (Junco hyemalis) – This ground-loving species was quite common as we birded the mountains near Sisters and Bend. Most, if not all, looked to be in the "Oregon" grouping.
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (Zonotrichia leucophrys) – Our most widespread sparrow of the trip, these were seen nearly every day.
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW (Zonotrichia albicollis) – Although never really an abundant bird in the west, there usually is a smattering of reports. However, the one we saw at Malheur NWR headquarters was earlier than normal.
SAGEBRUSH SPARROW (Artemisiospiza nevadensis) – This was another of the sage specialties that we spotted at Chickahominy Reservoir. Running on the ground with their tails cocked, they looked like mini thrashers or catbirds.
VESPER SPARROW (Pooecetes gramineus) – A handsome but subtle sparrow, this open-country bird was seen well at the Brothers Oasis Rest Area en route to Bend.

We chanced into some sage specialists at Chickahominy Reservoir including Sagebrush Sparrow and this Sage Thrasher. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis) – Common and widespread, especially farther east by Malheur NWR.
SONG SPARROW (Melospiza melodia) – There's a lot of geographic variation of this species and that was on full display for us; the very dark birds along the coast looked very little like the ones from the eastern US.
LINCOLN'S SPARROW (Melospiza lincolnii) – A brief look (and listen) was all we got at Malheur NWR headquarters of this widespread sparrow.
SPOTTED TOWHEE (Pipilo maculatus) – The first was spotted near our hotel in Newport, and then we found several more during our time near Bend and Malheur NWR.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana) – A few of these were seen mostly on the second half of the tour. They were quite numerous at Malheur NWR headquarters, for example.
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus melanocephalus) – Our best looks came from the apple tree at Malheur NWR headquarters during our epic morning there.
LAZULI BUNTING (Passerina amoena) – This was another migrant we saw at the Malheur NWR headquarters. Generally speaking, this is the western counterpart to the Indigo Bunting from eastern North America.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) – A showy western blackbird, these were seen nicely at Malheur NWR, especially in that beautiful morning light!
WESTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella neglecta) – Spotted distantly at the Hatfield Ponds near Bend (where we also heard them singing). We saw more that day south of Hines.
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus) – Seen a few times late in the tour in wet habitats.
BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD (Molothrus ater) – It looked like one of these had been raised by the House Sparrow flock at Devils Punchbowl State Park.
BREWER'S BLACKBIRD (Euphagus cyanocephalus) – A very common blackbird through much of Oregon, they were tallied nearly every day.

These Yellow-headed Blackbirds were a welcome sight at the headquarters of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by participant Tony Nastase.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
EVENING GROSBEAK (Coccothraustes vespertinus) – Not once, but twice this species was heard as they flew over. Seeing them perched, however, proved to be difficult. [*]
HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus) – This familiar finch was spotted only a handful of times on tour.
CASSIN'S FINCH (Haemorhous cassinii) – Similar to the Evening Grosbeak, this finch was a flyover and we only got to hear it calling. [*]
RED CROSSBILL (Loxia curvirostra) – Although tallied a few times, these finches proved to be rather elusive.
PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus) – The Sisters Ponderosa Lodge feeders were hosting a couple of these small, goldfinch-sized finches.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria) – These small goldfinches were most common in the Bend and Sisters area.
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH (Spinus tristis) – The more widespread goldfinch on tour, these were seen most days.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Widespread in urban areas. [I]

NUTTALL'S (MOUNTAIN) COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus nuttalli) – This was the only cottontail seen on tour, mostly out at Malheur NWR.
LEAST CHIPMUNK (Tamias minimus) – Running with their tails straight up, these little dudes were quite common around Bend and farther east.
TOWNSEND'S CHIPMUNK (Tamias townsendii) – This is a range-restricted chipmunk that we saw at the Marys Peak Campground on our first day.
CALIFORNIA GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus beecheyi) – This ground-loving species from the south was spotted on our third day, one of the days along the coast.
GOLDEN-MANTLED GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus lateralis) – One of the more attractive ground squirrels, these were quite common near Crater Lake National Park.
WESTERN GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus griseus) – Big and all gray, these were seen on at least 3 of our tour days.
CHICKAREE (Tamiasciurus douglasii) – Also known as Douglas's Squirrel, these look and act quite a bit like the Red Squirrels from much of North America. We saw these just a couple of times including near Bend and also on our final day as we drove back to Eugene.
BEAVER (Castor canadensis) – One of these was seen on the 4th day of birding.

It was hard to get enough of the panoramic view at Crater Lake and participant Tony Nastase beautifully captured this image.

NUTRIA (Myocastor coypus) – Native to South America, this rodent was introduced in Oregon in the 1930s when they were farmed for fur. But since the collapse of the fur industry, thousands of them were released and their numbers proliferated. [I]
GRAY WHALE (Eschrichtius robustus) – Starting at Boiler Bay, we had fantastic looks at numerous whales from the comfort of solid ground. In fact, we had our own whale whisperer (Shirley) who was excellent at spotting them!
COYOTE (Canis latrans) – Nice looks were had at Malheur NWR where these seem to be quite abundant.
CALIFORNIA SEA LION (Zalophus californianus) – Interestingly, the sea lions we heard in Newport were probably this species. [*]
STELLER'S SEA LION (Eumetopias jubatus) – The hoard of sea lions we had along the coast just north of the Sea Lion Cave area were actually this species; they have a well-known population there.
HARBOR SEAL (Phoca vitulina) – Seal heads peeking at us from the ocean was a common sight! We saw a collection of these hauled out on land as well.
MULE DEER (Odocoileus hemionus) – Deer were fairly common once we came inland off the coast. Note that "Black-tailed Deer" is a subspecies of Mule Deer.
PRONGHORN (Antilocapra americana) – It was great getting to see these in the dry flats near Hines and near Malheur NWR in eastern Oregon.


Totals for the tour: 203 bird taxa and 16 mammal taxa