In the Field: Winter Waterfowl of the Portland Area with Laura Whittemore *FULL*
Join longtime birding instructor Laura Whittemore for this waterfowl class taught entirely in the field, where we learn birds best!
Winter brings thousands of waterfowl to our region from their northern breeding grounds, sometimes as far away as the Arctic. During three sessions in the field, we will encounter up to 20 species of waterfowl and learn how to sort them out of the flock using size, shape, behavior, location of white on the body, and habitat.
This field class is for both beginners and more experienced birders who want to focus on the specifics of winter waterfowl identification. There will be something for everyone and of course, we will observe and enjoy all birds, not just the swimming variety.
Field Class Locations
November 28, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
Crystal Springs has long been a Portland duck-watching destination. Paved and gravel paths meander through the manicured gardens, allowing varied views of the lake. We’ll have close-up views of Mallard, American Wigeon, Wood Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, and more, and get our heads around dabblers and divers, drakes and hens, and the white markings on each species that help clue us in to their identity.
December 12, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Hillsboro Public Library / Dawson Creek Corporate Park
These human-created ponds surrounded by paved paths host numerous species of waterfowl each winter: Hooded Merganser, Ring-necked Duck, American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Cackling Goose, and more. We’ll continue learning to recognize waterfowl by shape, location of white, and habitat with the ponds’ up-close viewing opportunities. Bonus birds here include Acorn Woodpecker and Red-shouldered Hawk.
January 2, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The final outing of the series will challenge you to recognize waterfowl at a greater distance and really put your new skills and knowledge to the test. Forest Grove’s Fernhill Wetlands hosts many species of waterfowl in winter, and we’ll also get looks at grebes, which are not waterfowl but are always swimming. Fernhill also hosts birds of prey, and we’ll be sure to watch for eagles, hawks, and falcons during our outing. Walking is on level gravel paths.
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