A Field Guides Birding Tours Report

Oregon: From the Coast to the Cascades II 2023

September 15-26, 2023 with Cory Gregory guiding

Field Guides Birding Tours
Crater Lake National Park is the only National Park in all of Oregon. On our visit, this incredible scene awaited us (as well as chilly temps!). Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Oregon sits in a corner of the country rich with different habitats. On this trip, we sampled a great number of these habitats ranging from the dry sage flats, to the coniferous-ladened Cascades, chilly alpine forest, fertile valleys, and coastal rainforest.

Our adventure together began near Portland where we started out by visiting some of the most well-known waterfalls in the northwest. Latourell Falls, along with a great encounter with an American Dipper, was a great starting point and set us up nicely for Multnomah Falls which plummets hundreds of feet from the top of the Columbia River Gorge. Continuing east out of the gorge, we visited The Dalles before continuing up into the Blue Mountains and our visit to La Grande.

We started our the next morning by exploring some of the upper reaches of the Wallowa Mountains. The chilly mountain air greeted us as did crossbills, finches, and even a Williamson's Sapsucker. Downhill in the flats, we had fun encounters with Swainson's Hawks, an uncommon Ferruginous Hawk, and a variety of other raptors. In the afternoon we all enjoyed the scenery as we made our way down to Burns.

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge can be a dynamic place to bird. This year water has been in short supply. Still, the birding at the headquarters area was especially productive and we encountered some rare vagrants such as Chestnut-sided Warbler and even a Bay-breasted Warbler. After our picnic lunch at the lovely Page Springs, we climbed our way up Steens Mountain. Up at 9000 feet, the air was decidedly chilly! The scenery at Kiger Gorge and the East Rim was splendid though! Back down in the flats, we closed out the day by watching adorable Burrowing Owls just outside their burrow.

Before heading farther west towards Bend, we birded up in the Malheur National Forest for a bit and it was there that we started adding some of the popular woodpeckers. The tricky Black-backed Woodpecker put on a great show as did a Williamson's Sapsucker. But we eventually had to head west and so we swung into Chickahominy Reservoir to check things out. Although it took some work, we saw a lingering Sagebrush Sparrow which was a highlight for sure.

Once in the Cascades, in Bend and nearby Sisters, we started seeing a variety of new species. From the fantastic Pinyon Jay flock in Sisters, the White-headed Woodpeckers, twittering flocks of Pygmy Nuthatches, to the Evening Grosbeaks, there was plenty to keep us busy. It was there that we stumbled into a truly difficult-to-find highlight, the American Three-toed Woodpecker! Our encounter couldn't have been better and we ended up having walk-away views.

Nearby Bend is the well-known hotspot of Hatfield Lakes and that's where we found ourselves the next morning. We paid a visit and found a wealth of ducks and waterbirds on our pleasant morning walk. We added Greater White-fronted Geese, a variety of diving ducks, American Wigeon, and even some shorebirds like Greater Yellowlegs. It was time to head up through the mountains though and so we wound our way up to the famed Crater Lake National Park. Although it was downright cold, which warranted some new hats and gloves, we enjoyed our views of this breath-taking lake. Equally impressive was when Steve spotted a Sooty Grouse quietly pecking around in a roadside clearing! After we enjoyed our views of the lake, spent some time taking pictures of the friendly Clark's Nutcrackers, it was time to head downhill to Diamond Lake and then to Clearwater Falls. This set of waterfalls, a quiet but beautiful setting, is as reliable as it gets for American Dipper and we found them there quietly feeding along the streamside logs and rocks.

Roseburg, which sits in the Umpqua River Valley, has a couple of neat riverside parks that we visited the following morning. We surrounded ourselves with Acorn Woodpeckers, heard and saw the shy Bewick's Wren, and even some Lesser Goldfinches before we had to continue west. But once we arrived in the tangled-dominated habitat around the covered bridge, we were in range of a unique, shy target. Lucky for us, we saw this target, the one and only Wrentit, phenomenally well! For lunch, we descended to the coast where we had fresh seafood right on the shoreline in Bandon. For the rest of the day we explored some of the beaches in the area which were rich with Western Gulls, Wandering Tattlers, Black Turnstones, and even Surfbird.

This following day we devoted to birding at a variety of seaside habitats between Bandon and Newport. In the coastal forests we enjoyed Townsend's Warblers, Bushtits, more Wrentits, and some fantastic views of Chestnut-backed Chickadees. Offshore we saw alcids like Common Murres and Rhinoceros Auklets, and the bay habitats hosted a variety of cormorants including the West Coast specialty Brandt's Cormorant. After seeing some California Sea Lions, it was time to roll into Newport. A beautiful oceanside dinner was a great cap to a fun day.

The Newport area is rich with coastal habitats which is made evident by the misty landscape, the barks of sea lions, and the fog horns. We sampled many of these the following day which included exploring Yaquina Head Lighthouse, the Mark Hatfield Marine Science Center, and Boiler Bay. We scoped Gray Whales off the coast, spent time with the noisy Black Oystercatchers, looked at offshore scoters, photographed Harlequin Ducks, and even spotted some distant Marbled Murrelets. The evening dinner overlooking the ocean was beautiful as well!

Before we knew it, it was our final day. Although Marys Peak was being pummeled an incredible gale, we enjoyed the Varied Thrushes before retreating. We made our way to Fern Ridge Reservoir where we finally got eyes on Clark's Grebes alongside Western Grebes which made for great comparisons. We even got to scope the youngsters which were begging for food. A quick stop at Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge yielded several dozen dowitchers as well as a variety of peeps which allowed us to go over the challenges of sandpiper ID one final time.

In the end, we enjoyed a comprehensive sampling of what birding can be like in Oregon during fall. I want to thank each of you for joining me in Oregon and I certainly hope you made good memories of the various birds, landscapes, and our fun group of birders. From the dippers to the woodpeckers, and from the sage to the sunsets along the coast, it was a pleasure birding with all of you and I hope to see you again soon on another Field Guides trip.

Be safe and bird on!

—Cory (The 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)


Our first one of these migrant geese came from Hatfield Lake where it circled overhead several times, calling.

CACKLING GOOSE (Branta hutchinsii)

Ona Beach SP had a singleton in the small channel.

CANADA GOOSE (Branta canadensis)

Common throughout.

WOOD DUCK (Aix sponsa)

A few were sitting quietly on Meyer Pond in Bandon.

CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera)

A few non-breeding plumaged birds were seen at Chickahominy Reservoir.

NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata)

Fairly common.

GADWALL (Mareca strepera)

Hatfield Lake was one of a few spots we saw this dabbling species.

AMERICAN WIGEON (Mareca americana)

Fairly common, especially at the Marine Science Center where there were hundreds.

MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos)

Common throughout the trip.


Fairly common in appropriate habitat.

Field Guides Birding Tours
We couldn't have gotten a better view of this "cute" Swainson's Hawk! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.


This tiny dabbler, the smallest dabbling species in the world, was seen a number of times.

REDHEAD (Aythya americana)

Just a couple of these divers were seen and they were both on the shallow pond we call the Substation Pond en route to Malheur.

RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris)

At least 40 of these divers were seen on Hatfield Lake near Bend.

LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis)

Half a dozen were seen distantly at Thief Valley Reservoir.

HARLEQUIN DUCK (Histrionicus histrionicus)

A beautiful species! We encountered several of these at the Yaquina Head Lighthouse area.

SURF SCOTER (Melanitta perspicillata)

Our most common scoter on this trip.

WHITE-WINGED SCOTER (Melanitta deglandi)

Just a few of these distinctive scoters were seen off the coast late in the tour.

BUFFLEHEAD (Bucephala albeola)

This tiny diving species was fairly common on the big bodies of water we visited.

BARROW'S GOLDENEYE (Bucephala islandica)

There were at least 30 of these on Diamond Lake near Crater Lake National Park. At this time of year, we have to use other fieldmarks like headshape to make this ID.

HOODED MERGANSER (Lophodytes cucullatus)

A few of these were seen at Riverfront Park in Roseburg.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Our very first stop of our trip was at the Vista House at Crown Point. Visiting the Columbia River Gorge, which stretches towards the sunrise, was a beautiful way to start out the trip. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

COMMON MERGANSER (Mergus merganser)

A trio was seen at Diamond Lake.

RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis)

Thief Valley Reservoir had about a dozen of these stifftails.

Odontophoridae (New World Quail)

CALIFORNIA QUAIL (Callipepla californica)

Not particularly common on our trip which was a surprise. Still, we encountered them a couple times including at the Page Springs Campground.

Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)

WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo)

Seen mostly as we drove by.

RUFFED GROUSE (Bonasa umbellus)

Of all the things I was expecting to see sitting in the middle of the road in the Wallowa Mountains, I wasn't expecting these! A couple of these scurried away but the views were fantastic. We later saw another one too!

SOOTY GROUSE (Dendragapus fuliginosus)

Good spotting by Steve netted us this specialty as we were climbing up the flanks of Crater Lake! This encounter went on to become even more special once we realized we had little chance to see them later in the trip due to weather.

GRAY PARTRIDGE (Perdix perdix) [I]

The views were brief but diagnostic. A few of these scuttled off the road near Thief Valley Reservoir.

RING-NECKED PHEASANT (Phasianus colchicus) [I]

Seen around Malheur NWR.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)

PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)

Seen a number of times in the correct habitat.

RED-NECKED GREBE (Podiceps grisegena)

Good numbers of these were seen offshore late in the trip.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Another highlight from our very first birding day was a fascinating encounter with this American Dipper. We watched as it caught this small fish and repeatedly smacked the fish on the rocks, behavior similar to kingfishers. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis)

Chickahominy Reservoir had at least 40-50 of this mostly-western species.

WESTERN GREBE (Aechmophorus occidentalis)

Although we first saw some offshore, we saw these much better at Fern Ridge Reservoir on our final day.

CLARK'S GREBE (Aechmophorus clarkii)

It wasn't until our final day that we caught up to this western specialty at Fern Ridge Reservoir.

Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]

Common in urban areas.

BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata)

One flew over the Vista House on our first morning.

EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]

Seen a couple of times around Bend and Sisters.

MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)

A couple were spotted as we birded along Sodhouse Lane near Malheur.

Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)

BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus alexandri)

At least one was still visiting the hummingbird feeders at Malheur NWR during our birding there.


Our best looks were at the Riverfront Park in Roseburg.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

VIRGINIA RAIL (Rallus limicola)

We had a fun encounter with this sneaky species at the Page Springs Campground when we both heard and saw it!

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This Sooty Grouse was quietly feeding alongside the road as we drove up to Crater Lake. Great spotting, Steve! Photo by Cory Gregory.

SORA (Porzana carolina) [*]

Riley Pond west of Burns.

AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)

Common. Diamond Lake had about 500!

Gruidae (Cranes)

SANDHILL CRANE (Antigone canadensis)

Tallied from the Malheur NWR region.

Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)

BLACK OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus bachmani)

An all-black but flashy shorebird we saw many times along the rocky coast.

Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)

BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)

A couple were feeding on the mudflats at the estuary trail in Newport.

KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)

Common and seen most days.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)

This curlew was seen and photographed more than once in Bandon along the riverfront and then again in Newport.

MARBLED GODWIT (Limosa fedoa)

At the estuary trail in Newport.

BLACK TURNSTONE (Arenaria melanocephala)

The South Jetty of the Coquille River provided us with many good, close views of this western specialty.

SURFBIRD (Calidris virgata)

It took a bit of searching but we were eventually rewarded with finding 5 of these rock-loving shorebirds in Bandon.

Field Guides Birding Tours
This gorge, known as Kiger Gorge, was one of our stops up Steens Mountain south of Malheur NWR. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

SANDERLING (Calidris alba)

Surprisingly hard to find. We saw a trio at South Beach State Park but that was it.

DUNLIN (Calidris alpina)

One of these shorebirds flew over the estuary in Newport, calling as it went.

LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)

Common in marshy and tidal areas.

PECTORAL SANDPIPER (Calidris melanotos)

Half a dozen of these fairly uncommon shorebirds were spotted down in Myrtle Point Marsh.

WESTERN SANDPIPER (Calidris mauri)

Common wherever we found shorebirds. This species stands taller than Leasts, has dark legs, and a relatively long, curved bill.

LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus)

Pintail Marsh on our final day yielded a large flock of these.

WILSON'S SNIPE (Gallinago delicata)

Singletons were seen three times. First at the substation pond north of Malheur, then Chickahominy Reservoir, and lastly Hatfield Lake.

RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus lobatus)

Thief Valley Reservoir was host to 5 of these small, unique shorebirds.


The Coquille River jetty was a reliable place to find these and we did so there several times. This is a west-coast species and it only is found in the Lower 48 during the fall and winter months.

GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)

Seen at Hatfield Lake, Ona Beach State Park, and Pintail Marsh in Ankeny NWR.

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The Oregon Coast, which we spent several days exploring, ranges from rocky shoreline to expansive sandy beaches. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
Alcidae (Auks, Murres, and Puffins)

COMMON MURRE (Uria aalge)

Of all the alcids we saw, this was the most common.

PIGEON GUILLEMOT (Cepphus columba)

A couple of these distinctive black-and-white seabirds were seen offshore at Boiler Bay.

MARBLED MURRELET (Brachyramphus marmoratus)

We trained our scopes on these tiny alcids offshore from Devils Punchbowl.

RHINOCEROS AUKLET (Cerorhinca monocerata)

We eventually got good enough views through the scope of these mostly-gray alcids from China Creek one morning.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)

BONAPARTE'S GULL (Chroicocephalus philadelphia)

A couple were at Ona Beach State Park.

HEERMANN'S GULL (Larus heermanni)

Boiler Bay and Ona Beach both had a few of these unique, dark gulls.

RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis)

Surprisingly uncommon. Our only encounter was from the Hatfield Marine Science estuary trail.

WESTERN GULL (Larus occidentalis)

This dark-mantled species was abundant once we reached the coast.

CALIFORNIA GULL (Larus californicus)

We were able to study this mid-sized gull at the estuary in Newport.

GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL (Larus glaucescens)

At least a couple of pure-looking birds were seen at Boiler Bay. Remember, the shade of gray in the wingtips should match the color of the mantle.

CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia)

Our visits to the Coquille River jetty tallied this large tern species.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Brr! Our visit to Crater Lake aligned with a cold front that brought a chilly wind and cloud cover. Still, judging by the smiles frozen on our faces, it was a good time! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
Gaviidae (Loons)

RED-THROATED LOON (Gavia stellata)

One was seen offshore from Boiler Bay.

PACIFIC LOON (Gavia pacifica)

This species was actually the most common species of loon on the trip, not the following species! We encountered them a number of times at spots like China Creek, Umpqua Beach, Boiler Bay, and Devils Punchbowl.

COMMON LOON (Gavia immer)

This uncommon species was tallied a few times but always from the coast.

Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)

SOOTY SHEARWATER (Ardenna grisea)

About 30 of these seabirds were seen way offshore from Boiler Bay.

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)

BRANDT'S CORMORANT (Urile penicillatus)

Common along the coast.

PELAGIC CORMORANT (Urile pelagicus)

Boiler Bay and the Coquille River both gave us chances to study up on our cormorant ID.

DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Nannopterum auritum)

Seen both in freshwater and saltwater habitats.

Pelecanidae (Pelicans)

AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

These huge, black-and-white birds were seen soaring overhead.

BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis)

Abundant along the coast.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)

Common throughout.

Field Guides Birding Tours
One of the many highlights during our birding near the town of Sisters was when a huge flock of Pinyon Jays descended on us giving us all great views. We even saw a couple that had been banded by researchers. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)

Myrtle Point Marsh had a half dozen of these white herons.

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)

We spotted a youngster at Krumbo Reservoir in Malheur NWR.

Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)

Chickahominy Reservoir was the only spot we tallied this tall, dark marsh bird.

Cathartidae (New World Vultures)

TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

Abundant, seen daily.

Pandionidae (Osprey)

OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)

One of these raptors flew over Diamond Lake during our visit.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)

GOLDEN EAGLE (Aquila chrysaetos)

Success! This is a grand species and I'm glad everyone was able to see it.

NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus hudsonius)

Seen low over grasslands and marshes.

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatus)

Trout Creek Swamp had one rocket through.

COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)

Like the previous species, we were able to confirm this raptor from the Trout Creek area.

BALD EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

This distinctive, fish-eating raptor was a spotted a couple of times including at the Hatfield Science Center estuary.

Field Guides Birding Tours
One of the non-bird highlights was getting to see the rare and local California Pitcher Plants that can be found in a couple of the bogs near our route. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

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

One was tallied from River Front Park in Roseburg.

SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni)

There were still a handful of these sleek Buteos in the Cove area on our way up the Wallowas.

RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)

Fairly common and tallied most days.

FERRUGINOUS HAWK (Buteo regalis)

A definite highlight for many of us was getting to see this huge Buteo

Strigidae (Owls)

BURROWING OWL (Athene cunicularia)

We stopped by a nest twice north of Malheur. They were all there when we stopped by again in bitter light.

Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon)

This fish-eating species was seen on several days but always around ponds, rivers, and lakes.

Picidae (Woodpeckers)

WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus thyroideus)

It took some searching but we were rewarded with outstanding views of this attractive woodpecker high up in the Idlewild Campground which is part of the Malheur National Forest.

RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus ruber)

This West Coast specialty was seen at the Whispering Pine Campground near Sisters.

LEWIS'S WOODPECKER (Melanerpes lewis)

This is a very nomadic species of woodpecker and it took a little bit but we eventually spotted one of these from the Page Springs Campground near Steens Mountain.

ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus)

Many dozen were ubiquitous at the River Front Park in Roseburg. We even found one of their granary trees which was loaded with acorns.

Field Guides Birding Tours
One of the most scenic waterfalls we visited played host to some American Dippers. Here's our group searching for those! We eventually found them and had crippling views. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.


One of the most unexpected species of the trip, this rare woodpecker is notoriously difficult to find and especially in fall. We were birding in the burned areas above the Trout Creek Swamp when we found this stunner. What a treat!


One of our major targets on this trip, this medium-sized woodpecker can be difficult to find. With some persistence we found a great one at the Idlewild Campground. It then seemed to follow us around the campground!

DOWNY WOODPECKER (Dryobates pubescens)

Rather uncommon for us on this trip.

HAIRY WOODPECKER (Dryobates villosus)

Not uncommon in the Cascades.

WHITE-HEADED WOODPECKER (Dryobates albolarvatus)

One of the most interesting species of woodpeckers found in Oregon is this unique species. We were in Sisters when we saw several at the Ponderosa Lodge feeders.

NORTHERN FLICKER (Colaptes auratus)

Common. We were careful to study the napes to see whether there were any signs of intergradation between Red-shafted and Yellow-shafted.

Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)

AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)

This small falcon was seen only once or twice.

MERLIN (Falco columbarius)

One of these was perched high in the neighborhood where we saw the Pinyon Jays in Sisters.

PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)

Always an impressive bird of prey to witness.

PRAIRIE FALCON (Falco mexicanus)

Seen a couple of times. First at the Malheur NWR headquarters and again at the Page Springs Campground.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Of all the woodpeckers we saw, none were quite as unexpected as this American Three-toed Woodpecker in the burned forest uphill from Sisters. Wow! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)

WILLOW FLYCATCHER (Empidonax traillii)

A couple of these Empids were seen at Page Springs Campground. We often miss this species and so it was good to catch up to these.

BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans)

The first one we found, at Page Springs Campground, is pretty uncommon for that location. We later saw a couple more along the coast.

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)

WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus)

A migrant was seen at the headquarters migrant trap at Malheur.

Laniidae (Shrikes)

LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus)

This black and gray predatory species was seen briefly from the van in the dry country near Malheur NWR.

Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)

CANADA JAY (Perisoreus canadensis)

A duo of these jays, which were known as Gray Jays once upon a time, was seen up at the Idlewild Campground.

PINYON JAY (Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus)

Wow, this was so cool! We were in Sisters when a flock of 70+ found us. We all hopped out and got to watch the flock filter through the open pine forest around us.

STELLER'S JAY (Cyanocitta stelleri)

Common in most places on the trip.

CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY (Aphelocoma californica)

This species, which was once part of the Western Scrub-Jay complex, was pretty common at the River Front Park in Roseburg.


This distinctive and attractive Corvid was especially common around the corrals and fields near La Grande.

CLARK'S NUTCRACKER (Nucifraga columbiana)

This "gray crow" was found and photographed nicely at Crater Lake National Park. The ones along the Rim Village seem especially friendly, probably due to them getting a variety of Pringles and Cheetos from tourists.

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If I told you that this would literally be our view from our dinner table, it'd be hard to believe. And yet, that's exactly what happened. Great food with a great sunset! Photo by guide Cory Gregory during his dinner.

AMERICAN CROW (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

Common, especially along the coast.

COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)


Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)

BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE (Poecile atricapillus)

Seen in Roseburg, Bandon, and Newport.

MOUNTAIN CHICKADEE (Poecile gambeli)

Fairly common whenever we were at higher elevations. We tallied them from Malheur National Forest, Sisters, and elsewhere in the Cascades.


This flashy, West Coast specialty was tallied a number of times and we got some awesome looks at places like Face Rock Wayside and Devil's Kitchen.

Alaudidae (Larks)

HORNED LARK (Eremophila alpestris)

Seen just a couple of times.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)

TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor)

Seen only at Hatfield Lake where it was getting late for them to be there.

VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina)

A beautiful western species, this swallow was seen a number of times including at Tumalo State Park, Hatfield Park, and the Sandy Creek Covered Bridge.

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)


Field Guides Birding Tours
This tour is a great one for seeking an impressive variety of woodpeckers. Our morning in Roseburg gave us a chance to visit a nearby park where the gregarious Acorn Woodpeckers were abundant. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)

BUSHTIT (Psaltriparus minimus)

We eventually found a meandering flock of 30 of these tiny, cute fluffballs at China Creek.

Sylviidae (Sylviid Warblers, Parrotbills, and Allies)

WRENTIT (Chamaea fasciata)

Wow, this West Coast specialty was high up on our target list and we ended up with point-blank looks at Sandy Creek Covered Bridge Park, Devil's Kitchen, and China Creek. We all came away full satisfied with our experience with this sometimes-secretive species.

Regulidae (Kinglets)

RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Corthylio calendula)

Not very common, only seen a couple of times.


A tiny species usually found in the vicinity of conifers, these were seen several times.

Sittidae (Nuthatches)

RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta canadensis)

Seen from spots like Malheur NWR, Whispering Pine Campground, Hatfield Lake, and Clearwater Falls.

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

This subspecies of this familiar species was the one we encountered most of the time. This includes the birds at Malheur National Forest and around Sisters and Bend.

WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (PACIFIC) (Sitta carolinensis aculeata)

We encountered this subspecies in Roseburg. It's good to keep track of these as they may someday be split.

PYGMY NUTHATCH (Sitta pygmaea)

Twittering flocks of these western nuthatches were a common sound at places like Sisters and Bend.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)

HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)

A migrant was seen and then heard in the sage scrub at Hatfield Lake.

PACIFIC WREN (Troglodytes pacificus)

The beautiful Clearwater Falls was the backdrop for our encounter with this secretive, dark wren.

Field Guides Birding Tours
One of our favorites on this trip was the American Dipper and so it deserves a repeat appearance. This particular one was at Clearwater Falls and it posed ever so nicely on a mossy log. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

BEWICK'S WREN (Thryomanes bewickii)

Our first ones were seen at River Front Park where we had good looks at one singing. We found another at China Creek along the coast.

Cinclidae (Dippers)

AMERICAN DIPPER (Cinclus mexicanus)

One of the most fascinating songbirds in all of the west. This all-gray creek-loving species was high on our target list. Thankfully it was a great tour for these and we saw them several times including at Latourell Falls, Horsetail Falls, and the scenic Clearwater Falls.

Sturnidae (Starlings)

EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]

Common at times.

Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)

SAGE THRASHER (Oreoscoptes montanus)

It was getting late to find these in eastern Oregon but we still managed to find a couple along Sodhouse Lane at Malheur NWR. This sage specialist is very short-billed and relatively short-tailed when compared to the other thrashers.

Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

WESTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia mexicana)

Seen at the Sisters Ponderosa Lodge and Cold Springs Campground.

MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD (Sialia currucoides)

This gorgeous sky-blue species was seen briefly from the Sage Hen Rest Area.

TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE (Myadestes townsendi)

This sleek, gray species was fairly common at times at places like Hwy 395 north of Burns, Page Springs Campground, Tumalo State Park, and Hatfield Lake.

VARIED THRUSH (Ixoreus naevius)

At least 8 of these western thrushes were seen on or along the road up to Marys Peak on our final morning.

SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus)

Only a few were seen including one at Devil's Kitchen in Bandon State Park and a couple at the Whispering Pine Campground.

HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus)

We had brief views of this species at the Whispering Pine Campground near Sisters.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Another fan favorite from our trip was this secretive denizen of thickets and brambles, the Wrentit! We had smashing success in seeing this sometimes-tricky species. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius)

Fairly common at times including along Hwy 395 where we tallied at least 10 along with the solitaires.

Bombycillidae (Waxwings)

CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum)

We chanced into several large flocks of these distinctive, crested frugivores.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

The flocks at the Brothers Rest Area and at the HQ at Malheur NWR were our biggest flocks.

Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)

AMERICAN PIPIT (Anthus rubescens)

Thief Valley Reservoir, Hatfield Lake, and Face Rock Wayside were some of the spots we saw this water-loving migrant species.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)

EVENING GROSBEAK (Coccothraustes vespertinus)

It was fantastic to see so many of these in the mountains near Sisters. We tallied numbers at the Trout Creek Hillside, Whispering Pine Campground, and Tumalo State Park.

HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus)

Usually pretty common in and around towns, this species was tallied only a few times on the trip.

CASSIN'S FINCH (Haemorhous cassinii)

This is a western species that we tallied only once, up in the Wallowas on our 2nd birding day.

RED CROSSBILL (Loxia curvirostra)

Tallied only from the Moss Springs Campground area on our 2nd day.

PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus)

This tiny, brown and streaky finch was seen a number of times but almost always around conifers.

LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria)

A couple were seen at our very first birding stop at the Vista House at Crown Point.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Our visit to the headquarters at Malheur NWR was highlighted by a duo of uncommon vagrant warblers. A Bay-breasted was present, which was a shock, along with this Chestnut-sided Warbler. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.


Not very common, only tallied once or twice.

Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)

FOX SPARROW (Passerella iliaca)

These became quite common during our time in the mountains uphill from Sisters. We tallied some from the Trout Creek Hillside, Cold Springs Campground, and then along the coast at Devil's Kitchen.

DARK-EYED JUNCO (Junco hyemalis)

It was fun to see the "Oregon" subspecies while actually in Oregon! Marys Peak Road had more than a dozen flitting along the sides of the road.

WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (Zonotrichia leucophrys)

Abundant, seen almost every day.

GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW (Zonotrichia atricapilla)

This western specialty was in high demand and lucky for us, we tracked some down at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

SAGEBRUSH SPARROW (Artemisiospiza nevadensis)

At least one of these sage specialists was still present at Chickahominy Reservoir. It took time but we were eventually rewarded with good views.

VESPER SPARROW (Pooecetes gramineus)

Seen at the Brothers Rest Area.

SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis)

Fairly common at spots like Sodhouse Lane at Malheur NWR.

SONG SPARROW (Melospiza melodia)

Fairly common and widespread.

SPOTTED TOWHEE (Pipilo maculatus)

We all had very nice views of a couple at the riverside park in Roseburg.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Another warbler that got rave reviews was the handsome Townsend's Warbler, like this one, that we saw along the coast. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)

It was getting late and harder to find these but we eventually spotted one at Malheur NWR at the headquarters.

WESTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella neglecta)

Common in the right habitat. We tallied more than 30 from the road leading into Malheur NWR.

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)


BREWER'S BLACKBIRD (Euphagus cyanocephalus)

Abundant in almost every habitat.

Parulidae (New World Warblers)

ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Leiothlypis celata)

We spotted a couple of these migrants at the HQ of Malheur NWR.

COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas)

Not common for us! We tallied this skulking species twice and both were from spots at Malheur NWR.

BAY-BREASTED WARBLER (Setophaga castanea)

Of all the species we encountered on our trip, this was probably the most unexpected and rarest for Oregon. We were very lucky and our birding at the Malheur NWR HQ overlapped with a lost migrant. You really never know what could show up at that migrant trap!

YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)

Several migrants were seen at Malheur NWR headquarters.

CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica)

Although this is a common species in many parts of the country, Oregon is not in one of those. Although annual in the state, this is considered a rare migrant. We saw one at the Malheur NWR headquarters.

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

Common, especially at the Malheur NWR headquarters where 80+ had dropped into the migrant trap.

Field Guides Birding Tours
Although not as bright and flashy as some of the warblers, the Fox Sparrows we encountered were definitely worthy of a look and study. Several subspecies can be seen in Oregon including this "Thick-billed" one. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi)

This is a beautiful western warbler that we found at Devil's Kitchen in Bandon State Park.

Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)

WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana)

Only a couple were seen at spots like Hwy 395 north of Burns and at the Malheur NWR headquarters.



Seen on our third day in the Malheur NWR region.

LEAST CHIPMUNK (Tamias minimus)

Fairly common at spots in the Cascades.

CALIFORNIA GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus beecheyi)

Seen late in the tour.


This attractive species was fairly common at some montane spots like Steens Mountain.


Only seen once, in the Roseburg area.

CHICKAREE (Tamiasciurus douglasii)

This was a common and vocal species early on in the tour.

NUTRIA (Myocastor coypus) [I]

Not native to Oregon, this introduced species has caused a number of declines of native species.

GRAY WHALE (Eschrichtius robustus)

Wow, it was super cool to see these right offshore in the Newport area!

Field Guides Birding Tours
And finally, just one final view of Crater Lake. From this angle, Wizard Island is much easier to see. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

COYOTE (Canis latrans)

Seen just a couple of times.

CALIFORNIA SEA LION (Zalophus californianus)

Seen up-close-and-personal in Newport.

HARBOR SEAL (Phoca vitulina)

Common along the coast.

MULE DEER (Odocoileus hemionus)

Seen occasionally.

WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus)

Seen occasionally.

PRONGHORN (Antilocapra americana)

This unique species was seen a number of times in eastern Oregon at spots near Cove, Malheur, and around Burns.

BIGHORN SHEEP (Ovis canadensis) [E]

This is a tough species to find but we did just that on our first birding day east of the Columbia River Gorge.

Totals for the tour: 182 bird taxa and 15 mammal taxa