Lane County Birding

Spring and summer are the ideal time for a good many outdoor activities, not the least of which is birding (a.k.a. bird watching). Oregon is home to a wide variety of birds, and during the warmer months you can spot them everywhere. Lane County, with its unique topography that includes the Pacific Coast, the Willamette Valley, and the Cascades, offers a plethora of great birding locations. We’ve narrowed it down to our personal Top 5, in no particular order.

Eugene Standard’s Top 5 Lane County Birding Locations

#1: Cougar Reservoir: Along the Three Sisters Loop, among rocky canyons and beautiful coniferous forests (natch), you’ll find the Cougar Reservoir. You’ll occasionally spot Bald Eagles here, and can count on seeing plenty of Swallows: Northern Rough-Winged, Cliff, and Violet-Green. Rock and Canyon Wren are also common sights. The nearby Terwilliger Hot Springs is a good waterfowl spotting area toward the end of the season and into fall.

#2: Mt. Pisgah Arboretum: Part of Howard Buford Park, Mt. Pisgah Arboretum is over 200 acres of the Willamette Valley’s most beautiful oak woodland, wildflower meadows, and mixed forest. You’ll likely spot numerous Pileated and Hairy Woodpeckers, along with Western Meadowlarks, Western Wood-Pewees, Buntings, and Great Blue Herons. Plenty of trails for easy access all throughout the Arboretum.

Pileated Woodpecker in flight - Photo credit: The 2-Belo / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Pileated Woodpecker in flight – Photo credit: The 2-Belo / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

#3: Calapooya Divide: This one is technically partially in Douglas County, as well. Gorgeous high-elevation forests full of hemlock, red cedar, Douglas fir, maple, and alders. Calayoopa Divide birding offers a huge array of species, from Spotted Owls, Goshawks, and MacGillivray’s Warblers to multiple Woodpecker, Grouse, Thrush, and Flycatcher varieties. Climb Snow Peak to the crest of the divide for some of the most stunning views in all of Oregon.

#4: Woahink Lake: If you dig songbirds, this is the spot for you! Birding at Woahink Lake, part of Honeyman State Park, will yield ample species of forest songbirds, as well as Belted Kingfishers, Ospreys, Pied-Billed Grebes, Scaup, and good old Canada Geese. If you know where to look (check the boggy area), you might even spot the endanger pitcher plant species that grows in the park.

Belted Kingfisher - Photo credit: Andrew Reding / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Belted Kingfisher – Photo credit: Andrew Reding / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

#5: Eugene Airport Area: Strangely enough, the area around the Eugene Airport is quite good for birding. Winter is actually the best time of year here, variety-wise, but even in spring and summer you’ll see numerous Sparrow and Owl species, as well as Northern Shrike and various waterfowl.

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