A Black Phoebe is perched on a rock in front of water.

Black Phoebes, a New Year-Round Portland Resident?

Whereas the Black Phoebes that were spotted during winters over much of the Willamette Valley for the last decade were assumed to be reverse migrants, over the last few years, many seem to have simply stayed, found a mate, and are now year-round breeding birds at many of our local areas, especially along the Columbia Slough.

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A photo of Mt. St. Helens with a flock of Sandhill Cranes flying in front.

Why We Love Winter Birding

Willamette Valley is home to large numbers of wintering birds, and birders in this area define the season in terms of waterfowl and sparrows, gulls and raptors. Winter birding has a charm of its own and it may be the season many of us value the most – perhaps not for what birds the winter brings, but for what birding brings to winter.

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A group of young birders is looking up at a bird in a forest.

A New Chapter for Outings

This fall, we are delighted to share that a dedicated core group of Outings Volunteers will begin leading outings again, with strict COVID protocols in place that we are confident will keep participants safe while enabling us to enjoy one another’s company together again.

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Wilson's Warbler on diagonal branch with green leaves in the background

Rethinking Bird Names

Of the 149 birds of North America that have honorific names, all of them are named after white people. Whether they were named after the “discoverer” of the birds (Wilson’s Warbler, for example, named by Alexander Wilson) or in honor of someone else (like Franklin’s Gull, named in honor of the leader of a scientific expedition), these birds were all named in a time and place where only white men were allowed to be in these positions of power and privilege.

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