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Pacific Northwest Trip: Raptor Migration at Green Ridge with Brodie Cass Talbott

*This is a self-catered trip. Lodging, transportation and meals are your responsibility.

Green Ridge is Oregon’s unsung raptor migration hotspot, with comparable numbers of raptors to the more well-known Bonney Butte but easier access and more accessible local birding. We will augment an afternoon of raptor counting with birding around the Sisters and Black Butte area.

We will meet at Indian Ford campground at 8 am on Saturday, birding our way around the campground area, looking for local specialties like White-headed Woodpecker, Pygmy Nuthatch, and sapsuckers. We’ll visit Calliope Crossing for a mix of songbirds and woodpeckers before we carpool to Green Ridge, hoping for a chance encounter with Sooty Grouse

Lunch (don’t forget to bring one!) will be at the Green Ridge raptor observation point. Then we will spend the rest of the afternoon helping the hawkwatch team locate and identify a steady stream of accipiters, hawks, eagles, and falcons. This trip is scheduled for peak raptor migration. Last year, on a similar date, the team counted over 300 raptors over 8 hours, with the majority flying in the afternoon. Overall, the 2018 season had 15 species of raptors, including Broad-winged Hawk and Northern Goshawk, and with a good deal of luck, we may see one of these as well.

When the hawkwatch adjourns at 5 p.m., we will end our day, with an optional group dinner in Sisters.

On Sunday, we’ll visit other hotspots in the area, including Camp Polk, to look for Pinyon Jay and Evening Grosbeak, and Trout Creek, searching for Black-backed Woodpecker. Time allowing, we may also visit one or two other local spots. The trip will adjourn by mid-afternoon, allowing participants ample time to return to Portland during daylight hours.

This is a self-catering trip, and participants will provide their own accommodations as well as meals. We’ll stop both days for a picnic lunch along the route.

Important Trip Considerations

  • Sisters weather can be highly variable this time of year, from beautiful sunny days to cold and stormy. Please bring ample layers, and know that Green Ridge does occasionally cancel their Hawkwatch for weather – if it is too cloudy, the birds can not be counted.
  • It’s good to know that raptors often migrate high in the sky. While we hope for some close flybys, most of our birds will be well overhead, allowing us to practice raptor ID by shape and flight style.
  • We will be perched on top of a ridge for 3 to 5 hours. Full sun protection is strongly recommended. Participants will be responsible for their own comfort: A folding chair, sufficient water, a lunch and snacks are recommended.
  • The recommended lodging is Sisters Inn & Suites. Other accommodations are plentiful nearby. The town of Sisters is about ten minutes from Indian Ford Campground.
  • Please email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org if you wish to carpool and I will put you in contact with others.
  • The road to Green Ridge is a dirt and gravel road that is in pretty good condition. While a Prius would almost certainly do just fine, an SUV or vehicle with larger clearance may be a more comfortable drive. We will try to carpool to the top, for those who are comfortable doing so, in order to minimize the number of cars at the parking area. Parking is limited.

Amenities (bathrooms and parking): we will have limited formal bathrooms for much of our birding – maybe every 3 hours. Informal opportunities will abound. At the hawkwatch site there is a portapotty in the parking area, .5 miles from the viewing site.
Parking: A large parking spot with two accessible spots. The parking lot is large, and often quite empty.
Rest Stops: We will be making multiple stops each day. At the raptor watch, participants are encouraged to bring a camp chair to sit in if they don’t want to stand, or sit on rocks.
Exposure: Full for hawkwatch; partial to full for other stops

Accessibility

Distance: We will have 3-4 short to medium-length hikes, of 1-2 miles. The hike to the Green Ridge site is less than a mile from the parking spot – we may also go on a short hike from the hawkwatch site as well.
Pacing: Slow, with frequent stops to view and listen for birds.
Elevation Changes: Most hikes will be flat to slight inclines of less than 50 feet.
Trail Tread and Width: Trails will mostly be single track loose dirt and gravel, uneven, possibly with exposed rocks or roots
Public transit: none

Join Brodie Cass Talbott for a self-catering tour of peak raptor migration at Green Ridge.

Green Ridge is Oregon’s unsung raptor migration hotspot, with comparable numbers of raptors to the more well-known Bonney Butte, but easier access and more accessible local birding. We will augment an afternoon of raptor counting with birding around the Sisters and Black Butte area.

Register

Trip Details

  • Trip Leader: Brodie Cass Talbott
  • Fee: $200 members / $260 non-members
  • When: October 8-9, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Group size: Limited to 10 participants
  • What is included: The services of your experienced Portland Audubon leader.
  • Not included: Transportation, meals and lodging

Details

Start:
October 8
End:
October 9
Event Categories:
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Organizer

Tara Lemezis
Email:
tlemezis@audubonportland.org