Turn a shivering Brrr! into an exclamation, Birds! While much of the nation is making its way through harsh winter storms, Oregon’s Washington County is staying true to its temperate weather. While the area experiences winter via rainy days, foggy mornings, nighttime chills, and occasional flurries, the geography generally offers a balmy and pleasant wintertime for visitors of both the human and fowl variety. Winter is indeed a spectacular time to go birding in Oregon’s Washington County.
Reasons to Winter Bird Watch Here:
- With less foliage, it is easier not only to spot birds, but also tracks leading to foraging spots.
- As resources are less plentiful, it’s more common for several species of birds to congregate in a mixed flock during the colder months. Seeing many species together is a special experience, as well as a chance to check multiple birds off of your “must-see” list at once.
- At the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge alone, an average of 20,000 waterfowl—including Canada Geese, northern pintails, and mallards—can be observed in one day. And Bald Eagles are counted as a commonly seen species. At the Jackson Bottom Wetlands and Fernhill Wetlands, catch a glimpse of the round-headed American Wigeon bobbing in the water. It truly is magic to see the Great Blue Heron nesting amidst the winter marshes, as well.
Winter Birding Tips:
- Check the weather report before you go! Dress right for the adventure and you’ll be happy and cozy whether it’s rainy, snowy, or foggy.
- Just because it’s not the dead heat of summer, doesn’t mean you can’t get dehydrated! Bring water, snacks, and sunscreen for your day in the refuges.
- Keep any valuable gear in check against unexpected winter elements. We suggest a harness or neck strap attached to a pair of water-resistant binoculars.
- Birds and Wildlife Watching Resource
- Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge’s Watchable Wildlife Guide
- Jackson Bottom Wetlands Bird Species Checklist
- Fernhill Wetlands’ new website and Bird Species Checklist