Extensive trails and a variety of habitat – including hazelnut orchards, a riparian strip, and oak woodland with native understory shrubs and plants – make the 258-ac Dorris Ranch a superb birding location. An upland hill slope is dotted with wild-rose and blackberry thickets, and wet prairie and ash woods where seeps come off the hill. Pileated Woodpecker is frequently seen, along with Spotted Sandpiper at river’s edge. Owls and winter raptors can also be observed. Willow Flycatcher frequents ash and hawthorn thickets. Swainson’s Thrush, Steller’s Jay, Mourning Dove, Cooper?s Hawk, Varied Thrush, and Cassin?s Vireo can also be found in the appropriate season.
From South A St near downtown Springfield, go S on South 2nd St for 0.9 mi to the entrance to Dorris Ranch. Take the R fork and park in the gravel parking area near the kiosk. Expect occasional closures of the ranch for orchard spraying.