Type size - +
Personal tools
You are here: Home About Us Events Ross Island Regatta: Celebrate Great Blue Heron Week!

Ross Island Regatta: Celebrate Great Blue Heron Week!

— filed under: ,
When: May 21, 2017 from 09:30 am to 12:30 pm

Join us for the Ross Island Regatta in honor of Great Blue Heron Week. Paddle with us around the four island archipelago, which will be redolent with bird song!

Where: Willamette Park Boat Ramp (SW Macadam Avenue and SW Nebraska Street)

Great Blue Heron
Photo by Tara Lemezis

Join us for this year's 31st Annual Great Blue Heron Week with a special event paddling around Ross Island! This year, there will be only one signature event - the annual Ross Island Regatta, which will give Portlanders an opportunity to enjoy a morning on the Willamette River, paddling through a no-wake zone on Holgate Channel, into the Ross Island lagoon, around Ross Island, and back to Willamette Park. 

The paddle will launch at Willamette Park boat ramp and proceed to the west side of the Willamette River, and head downstream for a serene "birdy" journey through the Holgate Channel. We'll be looking and listening for Black-headed Grosbeaks, Purple Martins, and other migratory songbirds, Spotted Sandpipers, Peregrine Falcons, Red-tailed Hawks, and Wood Ducks. In the Ross Island lagoon we'll see nesting Bald Eagles that took over what had been a large Great Blue Heron nesting colony. Farther downstream we will get a good look a the relocated heron colony near Ross Island's tip. From there we will head back upstream past little Toe Island, keeping a lookout for beaver dens and Belted Kingfisher burrows. 

May is the perfect time to circumnavigate the four island archipelago (Ross, Hardtack, 
East, and Toe), which will be redolent with bird song, including the eerie melody of Swainson's Thrushes. We might even see a river otter or two! 

Meet trip leaders Mike Houck of the Urban Greenspaces Institute, and Bob Sallinger, Conservation Director at Audubon Society of Portland, no later than 9:30 a.m. at Willamette Park boat ramp to unload your canoe or kayak and get into the water by 10:30 a.m.

The paddle is a leisurely two and a half hours and is suitable for beginning paddlers and families. You must provide your own life jackets and kayak or canoe. There will be a safety boat accompanying the paddlers.

If you are renting a canoe or kayak from Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe or the nearby Portland Kayak Company, make sure you leave plenty of time to get your craft and be at Willamette Park at 9:30 a.m. sharp to put in. Alder Creek Kayak, 503-285-1819, aldercreekcom. Portland Kayak Company, 503-459-4050, portlandkayak.com. After unloading your craft at the boat ramp, park in a CAR parking space. You will be ticketed if you park in a trailer space. Be sure to pay for parking. There are two parking pass machines near the restroom at the south end of the main parking lot. 

For more information contact Mike Houck, mikehouck@urbangreenspaces.org.

powered by Plone | site by Groundwire Consulting and served with clean energy