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Field Trip: Fall Migration at Smith and Bybee Wetlands *FULL*

Smith and Bybee Wetlands, a 2,000-acre public park between the Columbia River and Columbia Slough is named for the two lakes representing the centerpiece to one of the country’s largest urban wetlands. Although surrounded by an industrial complex and abutting a former landfill to the south, the richly biodiverse green space was restored to its former functioning as a tidal, fluctuating marshland that allows for the seasonal movements and feeding opportunities that large populations of bird and fish species rely on to complete their life cycles.

We will walk along the forested Interlakes Trail, as well as the edges of mudflats scanning for dabbling ducks and small to large waders, e.g., herons, egrets, shorebirds (Western, Baird’s, and Pectoral Sandpipers, dowitchers, yellowlegs, and Dunlin). Given the site’s fabled pedigree, we may have chances to turn up more rare species, like Snowy Egret, which has been seen during previous fall migration windows.

Please remember to bring binoculars, a scope if you have one, appropriate clothing, and boots, preferably wellies or gum boots, for occasional wet grass and mud. Don’t forget water! Also, bug spray and sunscreen may be helpful to apply given the presence of mosquitos in wet areas and periods of full sun exposure along the flats.

Meeting Location: 5300 N Marine Dr, Portland, OR 97203

Masks are optional on this outdoor program.

Pacing: Slow, with frequent stops to view and listen for birds
Amenities:  Porta-potty/vault toilet in main parking lot
Public Transit: The 11 Bus to St. Johns to the North stops on the 5300 block of North Marine Drive about a half mile from the location. Going the opposite way towards downtown, the 11 bus stops on the block about 1/3 of a mile away from the entrance.
Rest Stops: There is one bench along the Interlakes Trail.


Distance: 3 miles
Elevation Changes: very minimal to none
Trail Tread and Width: Mildly uneven terrain of grass and dirt paths, some shallow water or wet soil, which can be slick or tacky at times.
Exposure: Full sun exposure on open mudflats at both lakes, mixed shade/sun exposure during forested interlakes walk.

Fall Migration at Smith and Bybee Wetlands

Join Ross as we bird this sprawling tidal freshwater wetland, a true Portland-area gem, in search of migrant shorebirds, early-returning wintering waterfowl, and many songbirds that move through the area every fall.


Field Trip Details

  • Date: September 24, 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
  • Fee: $45 members / $65 non-members


September 24
8:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Categories:
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OR United States
$45 – $65


OR United States
$45 – $65


Erin Law