Birding and whale-watching

Spring in Oregon is a great time to spot wildlife, from migrating gray whales to hundreds of bird species resting and feeding along the Pacific Flyway.

Spring Whale Watch Week

Some 200 gray whales call the Oregon coast home from July through October. However, the odds of seeing one of these majestic mammals increase this month when some 18,000 migrate between Alaska and their breeding grounds in Mexico. This March 21-28, 2009, is Spring Whale Watch Week, when Oregon State Parks sets up 28 whale-watching spots along the coast. Volunteers will be available to answer any and all questions, including where to point your binoculars.


Oregon is home to nearly 500 bird species, and the number jumps into the thousands during spring migration when exotic birds come to rest and feed under the Oregon stretch of the Pacific Flyway. Here are three prime spring bird-watching destinations.

Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

Thousands of migrating birds stop in this eastern Oregon area in the spring to feed on the 187,000 acres of wetlands and meadows at the refuge, which was established in 1890 by Theodore Roosevelt. Mark your calendars for the 18th Annual John Scharff Migratory Bird Festival, which is April 3-5 in nearby Burns.

Oregon Coast Birding Trail

There are 173 designated bird-watching sites on this trail that runs along Oregon’s stunning coast. A free brochure maps each site and lists the species you are likely to see—some 250 in total.
Download the guide.

Oregon Cascades Birding Trail

There are nearly 200 designated bird-watching sites along 1,000 miles of scenic roads in the Cascade Mountains. Along the route, bird-watchers may see bald eagles, great horned owls, dark-eyed juncos and other species.
Download the guide.

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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  1. Stacey says…

    Also check out the new Willamette Valley Birding Trail, set to be launched May 9, 2009! Find more information at

    Written on February 27th, 2009 / Flag this Comment
  2. What’s Going On in Oregon This March | Travel Oregon Blog says…

    [...] month, we’ve got the skinny on migrating whales and exotic birds, nature hikes that are close to the city and step-by-step instructions on Morel Mushroom and [...]

    Written on March 4th, 2009 / Flag this Comment
  3. Jeremy says…

    Be sure to join us at the 6th Annual Birding & Blues Festival in Pacific City April 3, 4, & 5! Some of the Northwest’s most exciting and experienced wildlife experts will be presenting and leading hikes to various locations. By night, we celebrate by dancing to the sounds of some of Oregon’s best blues bands!
    Check out

    Written on March 4th, 2009 / Flag this Comment
  4. Susan Honea says…

    Klamath Falls 10th Annual International Migratory Bird Day is Saturday, May 9, 2009, 9am – 3pm at Veterans Park. This event is a FREE family day of bird walks, mist netting, bird related activites, information about birds, artists, vendors, a 1 mile “Run for the Birds” for kids, and a 5K & 10 K for Adults, entertainment, and food. Come join us in Celebrating Birds!

    Written on March 9th, 2009 / Flag this Comment
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