A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Oregon: From the Coast to the Cascades I 2023

September 2-13, 2023 with Cory Gregory guiding

Field Guides Birding Tours
Crater Lake National Park is a focus of ours for a half of a day and for good reason. The view is spectacular! In fact, this is the only National Park in Oregon. We were lucky to have a beautiful day to view the lake and to visit the friendly Clark's Nutcrackers that call Crater Lake home. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Oregon plays host to so many different habitats and ecological regions that summarizing them is rather difficult to do! From the sage, to the mountains, and the lush coastal forests, we explored many corners of this state and came away with a fun and comprehensive fall Oregon trip!

The weather held off, our view of Crater Lake was a great one, and the birds performed well. In fact, even on Day 1 we were honored to have a beautiful Great Gray Owl! With such a majestic, hard-to-see, ghost-of-a-bird right off the bat, we knew we were in for a fun trip.

Malheur NWR was our destination for some of our birding early on and the HQ area was our first stop. Don't forget about the Burrowing Owls! We found not one but two families of these as the the light started to fade south of Burns. As we made our way towards Bend, we started to encounter new things. In Sisters, we had phenomenal luck with the roving Pinyon Jay flock, great views of the White-headed Woodpecker, and we can't forget about the 100+ Lewis's Woodpeckers we saw! The woodpecker show really was superb, we ended with 10 species including the tricky Black-backed Woodpecker.

After we enjoyed visiting Oregon's only national park, Crater Lake, we found our way deep into the forest where we visited the Clearwater Waterfalls. With an American Dipper bobbing around on the mossy logs and rocks, it was a perfect ending to the day. Once we reached the coast a whole new suite of birds were in play. Bandon and the coastline over the next couple days provided us with many highlights including Black Turnstone, Black Oystercatcher, Wandering Tattler, Harlequin Duck, and a variety of alcids we could see from shore. Even the Wrentits were seen well!

Capping off a fun trip was made even sweeter by our final morning on Marys Peak. First, some Sooty Grouse met us in the middle of the road rewarding our early-morning efforts. Equally cool was the Northern Pygmy-Owl that performed so well that we eventually had to walk away from it!

I want to thank all of you for coming along on this Field Guides tour and I hope we get to travel together again soon. Be safe and good birding!

—Cory (aka Curlew)

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)

CANADA GOOSE (Branta canadensis)

Fairly common in a variety of wet habitats.

WOOD DUCK (Aix sponsa)

Meyer Pond near Bandon had a few of these attractive ducks.

CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera)

Both Chickahominy and Hatfield Lake had a few of these western dabblers. Sadly, at this season they're not so flashy.

NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata)

Fairly common throughout.

GADWALL (Mareca strepera)

Not uncommon on various ponds and wetlands.

AMERICAN WIGEON (Mareca americana)

About 10 of these wintering ducks were seen at Hatfield Lake.

MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos)

Common throughout.


At least 60 of these were at Hatfield Lake near Bend.


Only a couple of these small dabblers were present at Hatfield Lake.

RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris)

Hatfield Lake was our only spot for these as well.

LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis)

This diving species was seen just a couple of times.

Field Guides Birding Tours
It wouldn’t be a trip to Oregon without a picturesque waterfall and American Dippers. Swimming, creeping along mossy logs, inspecting rocky crevices, this all-gray species blends in surprisingly well with its surroundings. Photo by participant Paul Beerman.

HARLEQUIN DUCK (Histrionicus histrionicus)

This attractive species was fairly common amongst the surf and rocks around the lighthouse at Yaquina Head.

SURF SCOTER (Melanitta perspicillata)

Only offshore late in the tour.

WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (Melanitta deglandi)

A number of these chunky seaducks were seen offshore near Bandon.

BUFFLEHEAD (Bucephala albeola)

BARROW'S GOLDENEYE (Bucephala islandica)

Diamond Lake near Crater Lake had 1-2 dozen of these. Because they're not in breeding plumage, we had to focus on more subtle fieldmarks like the head shape.

HOODED MERGANSER (Lophodytes cucullatus)

RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis)

Fairly common at a variety of lakes including Chickahominy where at least 15 were seen.

Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

CALIFORNIA QUAIL (Callipepla californica)

Yes, we eventually caught up to these although they weren't as abundant as I thought they'd be. For example, we found a flock of 35+ near Krumbo Reservoir at Malheur NWR.

Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)

WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo)

We spotted these mostly as we drove by various spots.

SOOTY GROUSE (Dendragapus fuliginosus)

Wahoo! This target is always a tough one to connect with but our early-morning drive from Newport to Marys Peak paid off when we found several of these along the road. This species was once considered conspecific with Dusky Grouse and was called "Blue Grouse".

Field Guides Birding Tours
Of all the owls in North America, very few, if any, have such a mythical aura about them. This sighting reminded us how lucky we were to be at the right place at the right time. And of course, getting to see this giant ghost of the bird world was certainly a highlight for all of us! Photo by participant Cindy Hamilton.

RING-NECKED PHEASANT (Phasianus colchicus) [I]

Although an introduced species, these caught our attention near Krumbo Reservoir at Malheur NWR.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)

Fairly common.

HORNED GREBE (Podiceps auritus)

A lone bird was scoped distantly at Diamond Lake.

RED-NECKED GREBE (Podiceps grisegena)

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse area had a couple of these swimming offshore.

EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis)

Fairly common, especially at Diamond Lake.

WESTERN GREBE (Aechmophorus occidentalis)

We had a nice side-by-side comparison between these and the following species. These western guys always look like they're wearing sunglasses.

CLARK'S GREBE (Aechmophorus clarkii)

Along with the previous species, Fern Ridge Reservoir had plenty of these to scope. We even got to see some all-white youngsters.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata)

Just flybys on this trip.

EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]

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Once we reached Roseburg, we were met by dozens of these quirky Acorn Woodpeckers. Overall, however, this isn’t a widespread species in most of Oregon. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)

Common throughout.

Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)

COMMON NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles minor)

Only a couple of these migrants were spotted at Malheur, flying around late in the afternoon.

Apodidae (Swifts)

VAUX'S SWIFT (Chaetura vauxi)

Wow, what a cool show! More than 800 of these swirled around and around a chimney in downtown Bend. As dusk settled in, they started getting closer and closer to the opening until finally they started slamming on the brakes and dropping in! It's incredible to think of 800 of these tiny birds lining the inside of the chimney.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus alexandri)

A few were visiting feeders at Malheur NWR HQ.


Fairly common in Roseburg.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

SORA (Porzana carolina)

We even got views of a couple of these at Riley Pond as they picked around in the vegetation.

AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)

A whopping 1200+ were at Diamond Lake.

Gruidae (Cranes)

SANDHILL CRANE (Antigone canadensis)

Always a neat bird to see! We saw 3 near Krumbo Reservoir at Malheur NWR.

Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)

BLACK OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus bachmani)

A western specialty, these big and obvious shorebirds were seen at a number of coastal areas.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

SNOWY PLOVER (Charadrius nivosus)

It took a little bit of work (climbing a sand dune) but we eventually had scope views of this uncommon coastal species. Their camouflage is amazing!

Field Guides Birding Tours
One of the aspects that makes Oregon such an enjoyable birding destination is the variety of woodpeckers. While some are easy to find, some are not. This Black-backed Woodpecker, photographed by participant Paul Beerman, was one of the harder ones. But, thankfully, persistence paid off and we were successful in finding one!

KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)

Fairly common.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)

Seen at a number of coastal spots late in the trip.

LONG-BILLED CURLEW (Numenius americanus)

One of these huge shorebirds flew over us at the mouth of the Coquille River.

MARBLED GODWIT (Limosa fedoa)

A few of these large shorebirds flew over as we were looking for Snowy Plovers.

BLACK TURNSTONE (Arenaria melanocephala)

It was fantastic getting to see so many of these rock-loving, western shorebirds. At one point we saw 60+ from the south jetty in Bandon.

SANDERLING (Calidris alba)

We saw a couple of flocks of these pale shorebirds along the sandy beaches on the coast.

BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (Calidris bairdii)

This sleek and beautiful sandpiper was seen at Chickahominy Reservoir where several people managed photos.

LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)

Fairly common.

PECTORAL SANDPIPER (Calidris melanotos)

Chickahominy Reservoir had one.

SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus griseus)

Field Guides Birding Tours
While one might not expect some of the dry-country birds to be found in Oregon, it turns out much of the state is quite arid! One such species is the diminutive Burrowing Owl. We spotted these birds north of Malheur NWR and participant Cindy Hamilton was able to snap this picture.

LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus)

RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus lobatus)

Chickahominy had a flock of 62!

SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)


Fairly common along the rocky coast.

LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)

Alcidae (Auks, Murres, and Puffins)

COMMON MURRE (Uria aalge)

Common along the coast, our most abundant alcid on the trip.

PIGEON GUILLEMOT (Cepphus columba)

A couple were seen here and there along the coast.

MARBLED MURRELET (Brachyramphus marmoratus)

More than 5 of these tiny alcids were seen swimming offshore from China Creek.

RHINOCEROS AUKLET (Cerorhinca monocerata)

Fairly common, usually seen in 1s or 2s.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

HEERMANN'S GULL (Larus heermanni)

Surprisingly, only one of these was seen and that was at China Creek.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Arguably one of the most famous natural wonders in all of Oregon, the sky-high Multnomah Falls didn't disappoint. We were fortunate to visit these falls, and others as well, on our first morning together. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

SHORT-BILLED GULL (Larus brachyrhynchus)

A singleton was seen swimming in the river channel at the Coquille River.

RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis)

WESTERN GULL (Larus occidentalis)

Abundant along the coast.

CALIFORNIA GULL (Larus californicus)

Quite common along the coast.

GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL (Larus glaucescens)

We saw at least one bird at Boiler Bay that looked pure. We saw many hybrids though.

CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia)

Seen a couple of times near Bandon.

COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo)

Seen distantly at Fern Ridge Reservoir by a couple of folks.

Gaviidae (Loons)

RED-THROATED LOON (Gavia stellata)

One at China Creek.

PACIFIC LOON (Gavia pacifica)

Relatively few on this trip, all migrating offshore.

COMMON LOON (Gavia immer)

Our least common loon, ironically. One was at Diamond Lake.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This Oregon trip is a good one to see birds named after Lewis and Clark. One such species is the oddly colored Lewis’s Woodpecker, of which we ended up seeing more than 100! Photo by participant Paul Beerman.
Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)

SOOTY SHEARWATER (Ardenna grisea)

Seen flying way offshore a couple of times.

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

BRANDT'S CORMORANT (Urile penicillatus)

Look for the buff patch on the throat. Common along the coast.

PELAGIC CORMORANT (Urile pelagicus)

Also common along the coast. This is the smallest of the cormorants on the trip and was dark overall including a thin dark bill.

DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Nannopterum auritum)

Common on inland bodies of water (and some coastal areas too).

Pelecanidae (Pelicans)

AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

Malheur NWR was a good place to see these flying overhead.

BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis)

Abundant along the coast.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)

Common throughout.

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

At least half a dozen of these were at Hatfield Marine Science Center.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)

We saw hundreds of these in Malheur NWR, but mostly as flyovers.

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

Field Guides Birding Tours
Another one of our favorite woodpeckers of the trip was the distinctive White-headed Woodpecker which we saw and photographed in the town of Sisters. Photo by participant Cindy Hamilton.
Pandionidae (Osprey)

OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

GOLDEN EAGLE (Aquila chrysaetos)

We chanced into this impressive raptor on our drive back north after Malheur NWR.

NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus hudsonius)

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatus)

COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)

BALD EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

RED-SHOULDERED HAWK (ELEGANS) (Buteo lineatus elegans)

Strangely, our only one was up in the mountains near Sisters.

SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni)

Fairly common in the Malheur NWR area.

RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)

Our most common Buteo.

Strigidae (Owls)

NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL (PACIFIC) (Glaucidium gnoma californicum)

Certainly a highlight of the trip for many of us was getting to see this tiny species so well up on Marys Peak. We got to hear it, watch it fly, and had scope views of it perched.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Continuing our excellent luck with owls on this trip, the icing on the cake was finding this Northern Pygmy-Owl on our final day of birding. The higher reaches of Marys Peak, where we saw this one, is home to this diurnal predator although it’s usually difficult to see. Photo by participant Cindy Hamilton.

BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)

Success! We found a couple of these at a couple different locations north of Malheur NWR.

GREAT GRAY OWL (Strix nebulosa)

This was such a memorable moment for us. This huge, quiet, ghost-of-a-bird showed itself to us as we drove quietly along in the Blue Mountains. We all had great looks and got nice pictures as we watched it look around. Eventually it flew farther back in the woods and we finally resumed breathing!

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon)

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus thyroideus)

Whew, we barely saw this species but there was no doubt when we got scopes on a male sitting atop a conifer near the Whispering Pine Campground.

RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus ruber)

A couple were at Trout Creek Swamp and another flew by in Roseburg.

SAPSUCKER SP. (Sphyrapicus sp.)

This was an interesting study of sapsucker hybridization. In the end, it's pretty clear that it wasn't a totally pure Red-naped. Instead, it looked to have some Red-breasted genes.

LEWIS'S WOODPECKER (Melanerpes lewis)

Wow, seeing so many of these north of Burns was phenomenal; about 100 were tallied in just the one afternoon!

ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus)

Common at the park in Roseburg. We even got to see some of their granary trees.


It sure took a lot of work but we eventually found a lovely female near Sisters. This tricky species is often one of the main targets of folks.

DOWNY WOODPECKER (Dryobates pubescens)

Field Guides Birding Tours
We lucked out with the weather and our view of the famed Crater Lake was quite nice! This lake, the deepest one in the US, is the only National Park in Oregon. Here’s our group posing for a passerby who kindly took this photo.

HAIRY WOODPECKER (Dryobates villosus)

WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKER (Dryobates albolarvatus)

These were in short supply this year but the trusty Ponderosa Lodge in Sisters had feeders where we managed to see one of these distinctive woodpeckers.

PILEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus pileatus)

NORTHERN FLICKER (Colaptes auratus)

A fairly common migrant throughout our trip.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)

PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)

PRAIRIE FALCON (Falco mexicanus)

Just a singleton along Ruh-Red north of Malheur.

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)


This big flycatcher, which is in the same genus as the pewees, was seen atop a tree in the Trout Creek area.

WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus sordidulus)

A late one was still at Malheur NWR HQ.

SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya)

Seen at the Malheur NWR HQ area.

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I’m convinced that some of the world's most friendly Clark’s Nutcrackers call Crater Lake home. Also, it was only at this stop that we finally caught up to this fascinating species of Corvid. Photo by participant Cindy Hamilton.

WESTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus verticalis)

It was uncommon to see these around still at this date.

EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus)

Like the previous species, this was seen at Malheur NWR.

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)

CASSIN'S VIREO (Vireo cassinii)

Our only one was at the Idlewild Campground.

WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus)

Not uncommon at a few spots near Malheur and Bend.

Laniidae (Shrikes)

LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus)

Common around Malheur NWR.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

CANADA JAY (Perisoreus canadensis)

At Marys Peak and Idlewild Campground.

PINYON JAY (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus)

Finding a flock of 80 of these roaming around in Sisters was so much fun! We got out and stood there as they flew all around us.

STELLER'S JAY (Cyanocitta stelleri)


CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY (Aphelocoma californica)

Seen around Bend and Roseburg.


These long-tailed Corvids are always a treat to see!

Field Guides Birding Tours
One of the common western species that we got to enjoy almost daily was the handsome Steller’s Jay. The jays along the Pacific Northwest differ from the ones in the Rocky Mountains by having dark blue markings on the forehead, not white. Photo by participant Paul Beerman.

CLARK'S NUTCRACKER (Nucifraga columbiana)

Along the rim at Crater Lake is as reliable of a spot as any other! We saw some getting fed and so that explains why.

AMERICAN CROW (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)

Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)

BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (Poecile atricapillus)

Our least common chickadee.

MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE (Poecile gambeli)

Fairly common in the, well, mountains.


Common in the Coast Range and spots along the coast.

Alaudidae (Larks)

HORNED LARK (Eremophila alpestris)

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor)

VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina)

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)

Field Guides Birding Tours
We were birding the town of Sisters when all of a sudden we found ourselves in the midst of a large Pinyon Jay flock! We quietly watched as they swarmed by us, headed to their next spot. Photo by participant Cindy Hamilton.
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)

BUSHTIT (Psaltriparus minimus)

Sylviidae (Sylviid Warblers, Parrotbills, and Allies)

WRENTIT (Chamaea fasciata)

We couldn't have gotten better views of this usually-skulking species than we did at the covered bridge rest area.

Regulidae (Kinglets)

RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Corthylio calendula)

Only seen at Moss Springs Campground.


We saw some extraordinary kinglets with their crowns out in full force.

Sittidae (Nuthatches)

RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta canadensis)

Common throughout in coniferous habitats.

WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (INTERIOR WEST) (Sitta carolinensis tenuissima)

All of these that we saw were of the Interior West group.

PYGMY NUTHATCH (Sitta pygmaea)

A common sight and sound in the conifers throughout the trip.

Certhiidae (Treecreepers)

BROWN CREEPER (Certhia americana)

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

ROCK WREN (Salpinctes obsoletus)

Our only sightings came from the top of Steens Mountain.

CANYON WREN (Catherpes mexicanus)

We had excellent views of one in the canyons north of Burns.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Always adding a lively touch of color to the coniferous forests in Oregon, the Red-breasted Nuthatch was a common companion of ours. Here’s one photographed by guide Cory Gregory.

HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)

These become sneaky in migration!

PACIFIC WREN (Troglodytes pacificus)

Our only sighting was of a bird that kindly perched up for a second at the Moss Springs Campground.

MARSH WREN (Cistothorus palustris) [*]

Heard only, giving some calls from the cattails at Riley Pond.

BEWICK'S WREN (Thryomanes bewickii)

Found in Roseburg and along the coast.

Cinclidae (Dippers)

AMERICAN DIPPER (Cinclus mexicanus)

This fascinating species was seen very well, twice! First at our second stop on the first day, and then later in the trip at Clearwater Falls.

Sturnidae (Starlings)

EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)

SAGE THRASHER (Oreoscoptes montanus)

Quite a number of these migrants were passing through, especially along the road to Malheur NWR.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

WESTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia mexicana)

Seen in Sisters, Roseburg, and a couple other spots.

MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD (Sialia currucoides)

Seen just once, north of Burns.

TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE (Myadestes townsendi)

We had wonderful, close views of this sleek species in the mountains north of Burns.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Our tour in Oregon is fairly unique in that it tallies three different species of chickadees. Perhaps the flashiest of the bunch is the distinctively marked Chestnut-backed Chickadee. Amongst the Shore Pines along the coast, we caught up to these and saw (and photographed) them at a point-blank distance. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus)

AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius)

Fairly common.

Bombycillidae (Waxwings)

CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum)

Always a treat to see these and we did so at Malheur NWR, Roseburg, Sandy Creek, and others.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

AMERICAN PIPIT (Anthus rubescens)

Mostly calling flyovers.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

EVENING GROSBEAK (Coccothraustes vespertinus)

Several flocks of these big finches were roaming around including many on the Trout Creek Hillside and more from the Whispering Pine Campground.

HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus)

PURPLE FINCH (WESTERN) (Haemorhous purpureus californicus)

A few of these flew over us while we were birding at Myrtle Point Marsh.

CASSIN'S FINCH (Haemorhous cassinii) [*]

Most heard-onlys.

RED CROSSBILL (Loxia curvirostra)

There was a huge flock of these up on Marys Peak; we estimated at least 170.

PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus)

We saw a sizable flock of these up on Marys Peak too.

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What a terrific job of focusing on and framing this tiny and skulky Pacific Wren! Although they weren’t common, we did get pretty good looks at this species, which was once considered conspecific with Winter Wren. Photo by participant Paul Beerman.

LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria)

Seen in Roseburg and Malheur NWR HQ.


Fairly common.

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina)

This small sparrow was abundant at some of our stops early in the tour.

BREWER'S SPARROW (Spizella breweri)

We focused on birding in the sage habitat at Chickahominy and ended up with great looks at this small Spizella.

FOX SPARROW (Passerella iliaca)

Trout Creek Hillside had a few.

DARK-EYED JUNCO (Junco hyemalis)

Most were the "Oregon" Dark-eyed Juncos. Fitting name!

WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (Zonotrichia leucophrys)


SAGEBRUSH SPARROW (Artemisiospiza nevadensis)

It took some work to finally track them down at Chickahominy but we did. This species holds its tail up as it runs on the ground, reminiscent of a tiny thrasher.

VESPER SPARROW (Pooecetes gramineus)

SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis)

SONG SPARROW (Melospiza melodia)

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The distinctive song of the Wrentit, an accelerating series of notes, would occasionally filter out of the thick undergrowth, giving but a clue to its presence. Although it’s a denizen of thick hedges, undergrowth, and mountainside chapparel, we did manage to see this species absurdly well! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

LINCOLN'S SPARROW (Melospiza lincolnii)

Just one at Malheur NWR HQ.

GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE (Pipilo chlorurus)

Very brief looks north of Burns.

SPOTTED TOWHEE (Pipilo maculatus)

Fairly common and we managed some nice pics of some in Roseburg.

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)

Many of these had already left and so it was especially good to connect with them at Malheur NWR and the Substation Pond north of Malheur.

WESTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella neglecta)

Abundant near Malheur NWR.

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)


BREWER'S BLACKBIRD (Euphagus cyanocephalus)


Parulidae (New World Warblers)

ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Leiothlypis celata)

We had at least three different encounters at various, seemingly random spots.

MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER (Geothlypis tolmiei)

We were lucky to have a couple of terrific encounters with this skulky species. The one we found at Idlewild Campground posed nicely for us and it ended up giving us some of the best looks we've ever had.

COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas)

Only one at Sage Hen Rest Area.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Although many of us take kinglets for granted, our encounters with Golden-crowned Kinglets on this trip really drove home that these are indeed flashy birds! We saw behavior not commonly seen and it really made an impression on all of us. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)

Singletons were spotted 4-5 times throughout the tour.

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)

BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Setophaga nigrescens)

This western species was tallied a couple of times including at Malheur NWR HQ as well as the Trout Creek Hillside a few days later.

HERMIT WARBLER (Setophaga occidentalis)

A couple were seen high in the trees along the Trout Creek Hillside.

WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla)

Only at Idlewild Campground north of Burns.

Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)

WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana)

Not particularly uncommon for us.

LAZULI BUNTING (Passerina amoena)

Female, north of Burns.


BRUSH RABBIT (Sylvilagus bachmani)

This was the cottontail we saw along the coast the one time.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel was nicely photographed high up on Steens Mountain by participant Cindy Hamilton.


LEAST CHIPMUNK (Tamias minimus)

TOWNSEND'S CHIPMUNK (Tamias townsendii)

Present up on Marys Peak.

YELLOW-BELLIED MARMOT (Marmota flaviventris)

We had neat views of a couple of these up near the East Rim of Steens Mountain.

BELDING'S GROUND SQUIRREL (Urocitellus beldingi)

This was the drab species we saw as we were climbing up Steens Mountain.

CALIFORNIA GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus beecheyi)


Friendly! Sometimes too friendly.

FOX SQUIRREL (Sciurus niger)


CHICKAREE (Tamiasciurus douglasii)

Also known as Douglas's Squirrel.

DEER MOUSE (Peromyscus maniculatus)

This little dude was lost in a parking area along the coast but we carefully carried him to safety.

NUTRIA (Myocastor coypus) [I]

GRAY WHALE (Eschrichtius robustus)

It's so cool to see this right offshore! Boiler Bay is good for this as well as Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

COYOTE (Canis latrans)

CALIFORNIA SEA LION (Zalophus californianus)

These were a sensory overload near our restaurant in Newport.

HARBOR SEAL (Phoca vitulina)

Common, especially down around Bandon where we saw them loafing on the rocks.

MULE DEER (Odocoileus hemionus)

WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus)

PRONGHORN (Antilocapra americana)


WESTERN FENCE LIZARD (Sceloporus occidentalis)

Totals for the tour: 191 bird taxa and 20 mammal taxa