: Justin Myers Photography

Spring Feathered Festivals

Wildlife lovers, photographers and birders of all backgrounds are welcome here.
February 3, 2020 (Updated January 12, 2023)

The daffodils are up, the cherry trees are blossoming and spring is in the air. The air is also full of birds migrating and nesting across the state of Oregon. Whether you’re a beginning birder or well-weathered friend of the feathered, you’ll enjoy the birding events in Oregon. Grab your binoculars and join in the fun.

A burrowing owl sits on a fence post.
Spot burrowing owls in the Malheur National Wildfire Refuge in Eastern Oregon. (Photo by Sandy Henderson)

Harney County Migratory Bird Festival (April)

This birding highlight is held each year in honor of John Scharff, the first on-site manager of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 1935. Enthusiasts come from far and wide to witness the spring migration in the Harney Basin, which brings thousands of migratory birds as they rest and feed in the open spaces of Oregon’s high desert. More than 340 specials use the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge throughout the year. The annual festival includes guided tours led by experts, workshops and fun activities for all ages.

Tualatin River Bird Festival (May)

Meet at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Sherwood to for bird-house workshops, fly fishing and archery demos, nature walks and more. Fun for the whole family includes crafts, trivia, games and Q&A sessions with birding experts.

Ladd Marsh Bird Festival (May)

La Grande commemorates International Migratory Bird Day, the second Saturday in May. Held at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area, the weekend usually includes talks from experts, marsh outings and kids’ activities. Visitors have the chance to see more than 200 bird species that live at or pass through the area, including ducks, geese, raptors, passerines and shore birds.

Dean Hale Woodpecker Festival (June)

Some 200 bird species, including 11 species of woodpeckers — half of all North American woodpecker species — breed annually in the Sisters area of Central Oregon. Local experts lead field trips to nature areas at this festival, sharing fascinating tips about the natural history, ecology, and conservation of these local forest carpenters.

Brown Pelicans and a Cormorant perch above the Pacific Ocean.
The Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex consists of six National Wildlife Refuges along the Oregon Coast. (Photo by Christian Heeb)

Find Out More:

  • Check out the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife’s resources for bird-watching resources and locations across the state, including several distinct bird trails.
  • Visit the Audubon Society near you for birding classes, workshops, events and other bird-nerd fun.
  • Podcasts are a great way to find out more about birds and birding. Tune into an Oregon-made podcast like Always Be Birdin’.
  • Birding is for everyone, and BIPOC-led organizations like Wild Diversity and Outdoor Afro are working in Oregon to welcome and create a sense of belonging in the outdoors for the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities. Consider joining a local birding tour this season.

About The

Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.