Skip to navigation, or go to main content.

Rich Hoyer reports from Oregon in Spring 2023 tour

June 07: Rich Hoyer reports from Oregon in Spring 2023 tour

Our fabulous drive though the diverse corners of Oregon (covering over 2000 miles in 10 days) coincided with the most perfect stretch of weather imaginable. Never too cold, never hot, never too windy – just as Goldilocks ordered. We saw some wonderful birds and scenery along the way, with picnic lunches every day in idyllic settings. Among the 226 species we saw and heard, owls (six species), woodpeckers (11 species), and daytime raptors (14 species) stood out among the highlights. Favorites also included Mountain Bluebird, Sandhill Crane, Clark’s Nutcracker, and Black-billed Magpie east of the mountains, while on the coast we saw Tufted Puffin at two of their few breeding colonies, Brandt’s Cormorant in their full breeding colors, Wandering Tattler, and Rhinoceros Auklet. (Photos by Rich Hoyer and participant Lori Herfurth.)

Any stop in the Crooked River canyon is scenic, and at some we saw Rock Wren and White-throated Swift.

A wetter than normal winter, followed by a warmer than usual mid-May meant that the timing was perfect for a spectacular wildflower show in the Great Basin.

This is one of three families of Great Horned Owl that coincided with our route.

We went owling on a few nights, and on our first night we had spectacular views of this Northern Saw-whet Owl.

The aptly named “Raptor Alley” stretch of Highway 78 southeast of Burns delivered as promised, this cooperative Prairie Falcon a good example.

We saw many stunning Mountain Bluebirds in the more open areas of eastern Oregon.

The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and the Silvies River meadows south of Burns were home to several pairs of Sandhill Cranes. Many lone birds indicated that eggs were still being incubated.

Of the nearly 30 species of mammals we tallied, this American Badger by the roadside was the biggest surprise.

Posted: June 07, 2023