Famous for its stunning natural beauty and active outdoors scene, Bend is a fantastic place to go birding! Below are a few tips and tricks to help you get the most of birding in Bend. Read on to learn more!
See the Majestic Birds of Bend
To the northwest of Downtown Bend are the Hatfield Lakes, a prime birding spot. Set against the snow-capped peaks of the Cascade Mountains, Hatfield is a landscape of towering pines, sagebrush, and juniper. They are well-known for their shorebirds and migrating waterfowl!
Cattails and bulrush create a cozy habitat for species like Marsh Wren, Virginia Rail, Yellow-headed Blackbird, and Sora. The open water draws in geese and ducks. From season to season, the shifting water levels bring in shorebird species such as Pectoral, Western, Baird’s, and Least Sandpipers. Red-necked Phalaropes, Wilson’s Phalaropes, and Long-billed Dowitcher take advantage of the lower water levels.
The Oregon Cascades Birding Trail, a path along one thousand miles of scenic roadways, also starts in Bend. Covering over two hundred different sites, you can spot countless species! This includes Bald Eagle, Yellow-headed Blackbird, and Oregon’s state bird, the Western Meadowlark. Don’t miss diverse environments, such as the Deschutes River’s riparian habitat or the lava flows close by the Dee Wright Observatory. The area is also known to have upwards of eleven different species of woodpecker, honored by the Annual Woodpecker Wonderland Festival each year.
Even Downtown Bend and the Old Mill District, more urban than most Bend birding sites, have many unique varieties of birds. Owl species like the Western Screech Owl and the Great Horned Owl are frequently spotted in Drake Park and suburban neighborhoods. Pilot Butte is home to Robins, Bluebirds, and the rare Bohemian Waxwing, with its spiky head and contrasting orange and silver feathers. Shevlin Park near Tumalo Creek hosts rare Pygmy Owls and Lewis’ Woodpeckers. You can rent Binoculars for birding from the Ticket Mill in the Old Mill District.