What’s the Word?In Washington County, Oregon

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Winged Opportunities in Washington County

Posted on: April 2nd, 2012 by Angie Marsh 2 Comments

As migratory songbirds flutter into the area this spring, their presence will be captured on cameras, celebrated with a festival and altogether watched and enjoyed. Whether it’s joining in the weekly “Lunch with the Birds” event or enrolling in the workshop “Wildlife Photography Opportunities in Oregon,” this is a time to celebrate a changing season for birdwatching.

Migrating waterfowl are spotted in the area every spring. Contest photo by Shawn Weishaar.

Visit Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve in Hillsboro this spring to see the migratory birds that are arriving. A “Spring Bird Walk” is Wednesday, April 4, at noon that follows mostly flat trails around the Preserve and to the feeding stations to observe the visiting birds. “Lunch With the Birds” is Wednesdays at the  Preserve in Hillsboro and typically offers sightings of bald eagles and great blue herons; migrating species are seen in spring as well.

The Audubon Society of Portland hosts a walk with two leaders around Dawson Creek Park in Hillsboro on Sunday, April 8 to see an assortment of waterfowl as well as Acorn Woodpeckers. Bring binoculars and meet at 9 a.m. at the north end of the parking lot of the Hillsboro Library at 2850 NE Brookwood Parkway in Hillsboro; the walk is until noon.

In May, join Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge for three days of guided workshops, field trips and seminars during the new three-day event, “Focus on Nature: A Weekend of Learning About Wildlife through Your Camera Lens.” Presenters include well-known nature photographers, optics specialists and local birding experts; options include nine fee-based classes and two free workshops, which run Friday, May 11th through Sunday, May 13th at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Sherwood. The signature event will be an evening presentation by Arthur Morris, a premier bird photographer and author.

Also in May is the Tualatin River Bird Festival, a signature annual event that offers bird and habitat walks, workshops and winery eco-habitat tours. This year it runs Friday, May 18 through Sunday, May 20, at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge and includes a diversity of family-friendly activities celebrating wildlife and wild places. Participate in guided bird and habitat walks and hands-on conservation activities geared toward kids, such as building a bat house. Enjoy live bird shows, music, storytelling and food. Go canoeing with the Tualatin Riverkeepers (in Tigard). Listen to a presentation by John Muir about the history of American conservation. View the winning photographs of the recent nature photography contest. Explore exhibits and products promoting wildlife and greenspaces. On Saturday, there will be free offsite parking and a shuttle service. This event is hosted by the Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For more about birds in the area, use the comprehensive guide “Watchable Wildlife.” Be sure to check out our list of area parks for ample bird-watching opportunities throughout the County as well.