The Eagles Have Landed
It’s the national bird, but it’s also a state tourist. Every winter, bald eagles flock to Oregon from Canada and the Atlantic states for warmer temperatures, ample food supply (both fish and waterfowl) and sheltering roost areas. Get a bird’s eye view of the visiting eagles at these spots in Oregon.
Bald eagles fly into the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Complex in mid-November peaking to as many as 500 in January and February. Driving tours around Klamath Marsh Refuge, Upper Klamath Lake and Lower Klamath Lake yield some of the best views.
As many as 80 overwintering bald eagles can be seen along the Columbia River near Hood River and The Dalles. Many are spotted in the trees along the Hood, White Salmon, Deschutes and Klickitat rivers, as well as river islands. Learn more about the habits of eagles and other raptors at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center.
At Lake Billy Chinook in Central Oregon, more than 50 migratory bald eagles join 40 year-round resident bald and goldens. Round Butte Overlook Park offers an extreme viewpoint down into the 700-foot-deep lake basin. The annual Eagle Watch takes place February 23-24, a weekend of lectures, demonstrations and family-friendly activities.
Visit the Twilight Creek Eagle Sanctuary near Astoria, also known as the Lewis and Clark National Wildlife Refuge, where 35,000 acres of marshland and mudflats support eagles and other waterfowl. In the Willamette Valley, visit the Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge or the Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge to spot wintering eagles.
About the Author: Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin is the editor of Travel Oregon’s Seasonal Features, enewsletters and annual visitor guide. When she’s not cooking up trip ideas, Oregon Dreamer profiles and outdoor adventures to write about, she’s out exploring Oregon.
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