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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Oregon: Birds & Theater

Tour Information

Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for Tours to Oregon: Birds and the Shakespeare Festival. Its sole purpose is to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they took this tour. Although we do our best to make sure that what follows here is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants, and whose contents supersedes any information contained here.

ENTERING THE UNITED STATES: Non-U.S. citizens will need a valid passport and may need a tourist visa. Consult your nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate for details. Canadian citizens should carry proof of citizenship in the form of a passport or birth certificate. 

PACE OF THE TOUR:  Most mornings will start around 6:00 a.m.; a few may begin earlier. On three days we finish birding at our picnic lunch, returning to the hotel in time for the afternoon play. A short afternoon walk to the nearby park may be offered on one day, and optional owling will be offered on a couple nights after dinner. On our two days to the Klamath Basin and Crater Lake we have longer days in the field, returning to the hotel by about 4:00 p.m. with an hour or two off before dinner and a late evening play on the return day. 

The walk from the hotel to the theater complex is four blocks on sidewalks. 

There are no particularly long or strenuous walks, the longest being no more than a mile. Most walking is done on roads and level trails, although there will be some over uneven ground and possibly in marshy/dewy grass. When looking for Great Gray Owl, we may have to walk through a forest up a slope with much fallen wood, requiring good balance and agility. One can opt to stay on the road near the van during this short walk if it is too difficult. Having sturdy footgear, waterproof if possible, is important, and a walking stick is recommended for anyone with balance problems or weak knees. 

HEALTH: Oregon presents no real hazards to the visiting birdwatcher. 

Insects: We will be in Oregon largely after the mosquito season. The leader will have enough repellent for all if it seems necessary. 

Elevation: Some of our birding is at elevations of 6000 to 7500 feet, and while we do not schedule anything even faintly strenuous at these elevations, anyone with a history of cardiovascular or respiratory problems should be aware of the altitudinal stress. Please consult your physician. 

Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a nonsmoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail. 

Miscellaneous: We actively look for reptiles, but the one species of poisonous snake in Oregon is very seldom seen this early in the year. High-elevation sun can be intense, making a broad-brimmed hat, proper clothing and a strong sun block lotion essential. 

CLIMATE: It could be cool in the early mornings in the mountains and hot down in the valley: we may experience temperatures ranging from 40° to over 100°F, with averages ranging 55° to 85°F. Rain is unlikely at this time of year. 

ACCOMMODATIONS: We will stay at a standard, comfortable motel while in Ashland; our cabins for the one night at Fort Klamath are nice and clean, but simpler, tending towards rustic. 

Internet: Wireless internet will be available at both hotels. 

FOOD: Food is North American standard but Ashland has some nice restaurants, and fresh fruit and produce are everywhere available. At Fort Klamath we will have a fresh grilled dinner prepared by your leader. There will be plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, mostly organic, at our picnic meals. 

WINGS tours are all-inclusive and no refunds can be issued for missed tour meals. 

Food Allergies / Requirements: We cannot guarantee that all food allergies can be accommodated at every destination. Participants with significant food allergies or special dietary requirements should bring appropriate foods with them for those times when their needs cannot be met. Announced meal times are always approximate depending on how the day unfolds. Participants who need to eat according to a fixed schedule should bring supplemental food. Please contact the WINGS office if you have any questions.

Water: Tap water is potable throughout. Fresh water will be available in the van throughout the tour, usually in one-gallon containers. It is suggested you bring your own personal water container so as to have a continuous supply of water in order to stay hydrated at all times. 

TRANSPORTATION: We will be traveling by 15- (or 12-) passenger window van or minivan, depending on the group size. When using 15-passenger window vans, we take a maximum of seven passengers plus the leader. Some roads may be quite bumpy and/or winding; anyone susceptible to motion sickness should bring an appropriate remedy. Participants should be able to ride in any seat in tour vehicles and are expected to change seats with others daily.

Updated: 18 October 2015