: Justin Myers Photography

Spring Feathered Festivals

February 3, 2020 (Updated December 21, 2021)

Editor’s note: Face coverings (ages 5 and up) are required at all indoor public spaces statewide, regardless of vaccination status. Learn more here. 

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. This year the annual festivals have gone virtual with plenty of interactive activities and workshops held online — so you can participate in all the fun from afar.

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

Don’t miss the Harney County Migratory Bird Festival (typically held in April), which celebrates the thousands of birds migrating through the high desert landscape of the Harney Basin in Southeastern Oregon. Most of the virtual content will be free, save for a few live programs that will have a small fee. Kaufman Field Guides editor Kenn Kaufman, considered one of the world’s best-known bird experts, will serve as the keynote speaker with “Centers of Survival: Bird Migration and the National Wildlife Refuges.”

The Tualatin River Bird Festival (typically held in May), from the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Sherwood to a computer browser near you. For nearly 25 years the Tualatin River Bird Festival has hosted bird-house workshops, fly fishing and archery demos, nature walks and more. This year’s festival will include crafts, trivia, games, virtual tours and Q&A sessions with birding experts.

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)

More Bird Festivals to Check Out

  • The Dean Hale Woodpecker Festival (returning in 2022) surveys some 200 bird species in the Sisters area of Central Oregon, including 11 species of woodpeckers. On regular years you can expect local field trips to nature areas.
  • The Ladd Marsh Bird Festival in La Grande commemorates International Migratory Bird Day, the second Saturday in May. Held at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Ladd Marsh, 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.

For more information about bird migrations and bird viewing areas, visit the ODFW’s Wildlife Viewing map.

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.