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Information and Resources

Meet the Birds

Canada Goose

Canada Geese are eye- and ear-catching birds that have captured the imagination of Americans for hundreds of years. Living symbols of the changing seasons, they are a source of wonder and speculation even today. Read more...

Cowbird

You know how it is. Once someone gets a bad reputation, they’re deemed responsible for all kinds of mischief, deservedly or not. So it is with cowbirds, who leave the care of their young (from eggs to adulthood) to other species. The unlucky foster parents are often warblers, sparrows or finches. Read more...

Sharp-shinned Hawk

The Sharp-shinned Hawk is a very impressive hunter of almost entirely small birds! Perhaps you’ve seen one as you stood at your window, watching an array of small birds feeding at your feeder: suddenly the birds fly off helter-skelter! A small hawk flashes in, turns abruptly, extends its long legs forward and grabs a songbird right off its perch! Read more...

California Quail

Is there anything cuter than watching California Quail parents stroll into your backyard with a covey of young to eat millet or cracked corn and drink water from your birdbath? Read more...

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpeckers are family favorites! We all love to watch the “Downies” who feed regularly at a suet feeder hanging from a wrought iron crane outside our family room window. Read more...

Band-tailed Pigeon

Our native pigeon is a lovely, soft gray color with a gracefully-shaped body that is longer and sleeker than that of a Rock Dove (a.k.a. city pigeon). Band-tailed Pigeons will readily come to an open, platform feeder offering millet, cracked corn and sunflower chips. They'll come to any feeder offering those food choices, as long as the feeder is large and stable enough to accommodate these relatively large backyard birds. Read more...

House Wren

House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) are familiar birds, largely because they thrive in altered habitats, including forest clear-cuts, parks, brushy thickets, and residential areas, and because of their habit of nesting in man-made objects, such as bird houses, mail boxes, old hats, and other objects left outside. Like other wrens, House Wrens have loud bubbling songs and harsh scolding call notes. Read more...

Black-headed Grosbeak

Black-headed Grosbeaks are striking summer residents throughout much of the western U.S. Read more...

Backyard Hawks

When you attract songbirds to your yard, chances are good that you will eventually attract avian predators as well. While some people don’t like the idea of hawks feeding on “their” birds, many others welcome this opportunity to see raptors up close. Read more...

Dark-Eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Juncos are common sparrows found throughout North America. They show a great deal of geographic variation, with many subspecies divided into five recognizable groups. The group found locally is known, appropriately enough, as Oregon Junco. Read more...

Golden-crowned Sparrow

With the arrival of autumn weather in late September and early October come Golden-crowned Sparrows. This species nests in Alaska, the Yukon Territory, and British Columbia, then spends the winter along the west coast from southern British Columbia to Baja California. They remain in the Willamette Valley until mid-May. Read more...

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) are found in Oregon all year, but their nomadic behavior makes it hard to predict where you will find them at any given time. They may arrive in your yard one day (usually in a flock), spend a day or two, and then disappear for months. Read more...

Mourning Dove

If you’re looking to bring some new visitors to your yard, throw out a handful of millet and see if the fascinating Mourning Dove will find it. Mourning Doves, with their distinctive coo and exciting courtship and aggressive displays, are one of the most interesting backyard birds to watch. Read more...

Great Blue Heron

Few Portland area wild bird lovers are unfamiliar with the dramatic silhouette and raucous honking of the Great Blue Heron. Its four-foot height and six-foot wingspan make it one of the largest birds around. Read more...

The Birds of Lewis and Clark

The Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806) was the first time that European-Americans went bird watching in the American west. The expedition discovered several species new to science, and the explorers’ journals provide us with a glimpse of Oregon’s bird life in the early 19th Century. (Lewis and Clark were the first to describe California Condors along the Columbia River.) Read more...

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