Rare Bird Alert

Updated every Thursday, the Rare Bird Alert covers the entire state and details where and when rare birds have been spotted. This could be anything from an east coast bird that flew off course to an Oregon bird found in an unlikely location.

Have you seen a rare or out of place bird? Contact Brodie Cass Talbott to report your sighting: bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

July 29

COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRD Black Tern
Common Loon Red-shouldered Hawk
Redhead

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

A female COSTA’S HUMMINGBIRD was photographed coming to a feeder for what would be an apparent first Columbia County record. Interestingly, the bird was found in the same yard that produced the first county record of Rose-breasted Grosbeak just 6 weeks ago. 

Two Black Terns were reported from Smith & Bybee, marking the third time the species has been seen there this summer, and the first time that two were reported together, leading to speculation that these birds are at least attempting breeding. No reports of juveniles yet…Other continuing birds this week include the Hagg Lake Common Loon, the Ivor Davies Red-shouldered Hawk, and the Shillapoo Lake Redheads

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

Costa's Hummingbird, photo by Mick Thompson

July 22

Tundra Swan Common Loon
Redhead Yellow-headed Blackbird
Red-shouldered Hawk Glaucous-winged Gull

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

While shorebirds continue to trickle into the region, rare birds were hard to come by this week. A Tundra Swan continues at Fernhill, and the Common Loon persists at Hagg Lake, and the Redheads continue at Shillapoo Lake in Clark County.

Most of the rest of our “rarities” reported in the area this week are birds that may be rare at the county level, but are uncommon at best in other counties. Among these are Yellow-headed Blackbirds at Tualatin River NWR, Red-shouldered Hawk in Clark and Clackamas Counties, Glaucous-winged Gull in Clackamas County, and Chipping Sparrows at two different locations in Multnomah County.

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

Red-shouldered Hawk by Audrey Addison

July 15

Solitary Sandpiper Tundra Swan
Common Loon Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Redhead Eastern Kingbird
Sandhill Crane Wilson’s Phalarope

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

Washington County had the most notable birds of the week, with an early Solitary Sandpiper and a Tundra Swan at Fernhill Wetlands, along with the continuing Common Loon at Hagg Lake. 

It was rather quiet in the rest of the Portland area, with a notable Ruby-crowned Kinglet atop Mt. Tabor. 

Many of Clark County’s rarities, including Redhead, Eastern Kingbird, Sandhill Crane, and, most notably, Wilson’s Phalarope, continue at their respective haunts.

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

Solitary Sandpiper, photo by Jen Goellnitz.

July 8

Semipalmated Sandpiper Black Tern
AMERICAN REDSTART Common Loon
Sandhill Crane Eastern Kingbird

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

Just in time to rescue us from the doldrums of summer birding, southbound shorebird migration is under way! A Semipalmated Sandpiper was among the vanguard of peeps hanging out at Vanport Wetlands this week, along with Yellowlegs and others. 

A Black Tern was yet again reported from Smith & Bybee, but was not refound by searchers. Intriguingly, there have been two unconfirmed reports of Black Tern along the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, leading to speculation that a single adult-plumaged bird may be moving around the area. 

Another intriguing bird reported this week was a heard-only AMERICAN REDSTART at the Sandy River Delta. While the bird was reported by an experienced observer, it was not refound. 

Continuing birds this week include the Hagg Lake Common Loon  and the Sandhill Cranes and Eastern Kingbirds that have been reported recently in Clark County. 

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

Female American Redstart, photo by Kelly Colgan Azar

July 1

Chipping Sparrow Common Loon
Redhead Wilson’s Phalarope

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

Rare birds continued to be rare this week, and the all-important factor of observer output may have lagged a little as well, due to the unprecedented heat spell that likely claimed many birds, and some of our human community as well. 

An adult Chipping Sparrow was found at Company Lake on the last day of June, making it the latest eBird record for that species in Multnomah County. A Common Loon continues at Hagg Lake. 

Clark County boasted continuing Redhead and Wilson’s Phalarope at Shillapoo Lake.

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

Common Loon, photo by Scott Heron

June 24

American Avocet Redhead
Lincoln’s Sparrow Black-backed Woodpecker
White-throated Sparrow

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

Rare birds continue to be hard to find, as is typical of the heart of breeding season. An American Avocet at Fernhill was certainly a highlight: this is only the second June record for the Portland metro area, per eBird. The bird has been confiding and long-staying. Other birds more often seen in migration than during the breeding season include Redhead reported from Shilllapoo Lake in Clark County, and a singing Lincoln’s Sparrow on Larch Mountain (these birds breed in certain mountain locations, but not typically in Multnomah County). Nearby, Black-backed Woodpecker was once again reported. 

A White-throated Sparrow has also been reported singing in Beaverton, one of the latest records in the state for that bird. Could Oregon get its first July record? He’ll have to survive the heat wave first…

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

Redhead, photo by John Friedman

June 9

WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER American Golden Plover
Wilson’s Phalarope Red-necked Phalarope
Black Tern Eastern Kingbird
Whimbrel Franklin’s Gull
White-faced Ibis

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

Its gotten markedly quieter in recent days as birds turn in earnest to raising young, and migration slows down. The migration highlights this week were definitely concentrated around Columbia riparian areas, and we’ll start with birds on the north side of the river, where a WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER was found along River Road west of Vancouver by keen-eyed observers. Rare across the Pacific Northwest, this is perhaps the first record for the Portland area. Observers also found a very surprising American Golden Plover, Wilson’s Phalarope, and Red-necked Phalarope at the same location. Black Tern and Eastern Kingbird were seen in the area, cementing Clark County as the top spot for migrants this week.

White-rumped Sandpiper, by Silver Leapers

Across the water, a Whimbrel was found on the Columbia County side of Sauvie’s Island, as were Wilson’s Phalarope and Franklin’s Gull, for a very nice slate of spring birds there. 

White-faced Ibis were reported flying over at two different locations in Portland this week, continuing a strong year for them across the region.

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

June 2

Black-chinned Hummingbird Black-throated Sparrow
Swainson’s Hawk Forster’s Tern
Black Tern Black-backed Woodpecker
Greater Scaup Eared Grebe

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

A few short weeks ago, slow migration was all that local birders could talk about, but those complaints have evaporated with the sustained onslaught of surprising rare birds. 

Starting the rush was the possible first Multnomah county record of Black-chinned Hummingbird, photographed at a feeder in SE Portland (and unfortunately never refound). Next up was a Black-throated Sparrow found in a developing lot in Troutdale where a number of rare dryside birds have turned up over the years. This bird was much more obliging, remaining for several days and seen by many. One of those chasers noticed some interesting buteos on his return along Marine Drive, which ended up being three Swainson’s Hawks, one of which remained for several days. While reports of this migratory raptor have increased over the last few years, having a number of hunting birds is remarkable, and likely related to the rain that came in. 

Then on the first of June, a pair of Forster’s Terns turned up at Smith and Bybee, for what is possibly a first spring record. They seemed to remain for only one day, but the next day, a birder searching for those two found instead a Black Tern, the first record in decades in Multnomah County (although they are much less rare in neighboring counties). And for good measure, Black-backed Woodpecker was once again reported from the mountains above Multnomah Falls. 

Other local finds over the past week include a surprising Greater Scaup joining Eared Grebe at Henry Hagg Lake, and some early reports of Common Nighthawk.

May 20

GARGANEY RED KNOT
White-faced Ibis Swainson’s Hawk
Ash-throated Flycatcher Semipalmated Plover
Short-billed Dowitcher Lesser Yellowlegs

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

All eyes were on Baskett Slough this last week after a male GARGANEY was spotted. This Eurasian duck is a very rare visitor to the state, with thelast record occurring 15 years ago. The bird stayed for two days, allowing scores of birders distant views, before disappearing for good sometime before Monday morning. 

The other highest profile migrants statewide this week have been the bountiful RED KNOTS that have been seen all along the coast, but in staggering numbers at the mouth of the Columbia, where perhaps 1,000 birds were staging on their epic northward migration. Double digits are generally considered a large number for Oregon of this handsome shorebird.

Red Knot, photo by Adam Stunkel.

Locally, a White-faced Ibis was once again the highlight of the week, this time turning up at Koll Center wetlands, making it perhaps the first Ibis reported in Washington County since 2005, and making Washington County the fourth Portland-area county with a sighting this spring. Clackamas county birders, you can do it! 

Swainson’s Hawk continues to be reported in the area, with new reports from Sauvie Island and Whitaker Ponds. Portland’s first Ash-throated Flycatcher of the year was also reported from Gabriel Park, a touch on the early side for this dryside specialty. 

Shorebirds seem to be dwindling, but Tualatin River NWR still had reports of Semipalmated Plover and Short-billed Dowitcher (a great bird for spring) this week, and Lesser Yellowlegs was reported from Vanport.

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

May 13

White-faced Ibis Swainson’s Hawk
Acorn Woodpeckers Palm Warbler
Black Swift Black-chinned Hummingbird
Wrentit Pectoral Sandpiper
Sanderling Semipalmated Sandpiper
Mandarin Ducks

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

Are migrants simply late this year? That’s an emerging hypothesis as migration seemed to ramp up a notch over the last two weeks. Top of line were two different reports of White-faced Ibis, one from the Reeder Road observation platform, and the other of a flyover at Vanport Wetlands, both of which were observed by the same birder who was participating in a bicycle “Big Day.” An impressive feat to see that species in either Multnomah or Columbia County, where combined there were possibly less than a dozen records. For the same birder to do both in the same day is truly impressive, as was his tally of 109 species. 

Also from Sauvie Island this week came two reports of Swainson’s Hawk, which photos and timing indicate could have been the same bird. Two more were photographed from nearby Scappoose Bottoms the following day, and another was reported as a flyover in North Portland, for an impressive movement of these rare dryside Buteos.

White-faced Ibis, photo by Tara Lemezis

The Acorn Woodpeckers have also been reported again from Oak Island on Sauvie. Photos indicate there may be two females of different ages. These birds have been reported last spring and fall as well, but have been difficult to reliably find. An observer trying to find these birds turned up a Palm Warbler in the same area, which are always rare in the Portland area, but especially in winter, as they tend to show up mostly in winter. To top it all off, other searchers were rewarded with views of Black Swift, one of several reports so far this spring. 

Mt. Tabor has generally had a very quiet season thus far, but reports came in this week of both Black-chinned Hummingbird and Wrentit, neither of which was photographed or refound, unfortunately. 

Shorebird migration continues to be decent, with a Pectoral Sandpiper reported at Tualatin River NWR, and a Sanderling found at Broughton Beach, where last week a Semipalmated Sandpiper was found.

Mandarin Ducks, presumed domestic escapees, continue to be reported from Happy Valley Nature Park and Mary S. Young park in West Linn.

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

April 29

Common Poorwill Long-billed Curlew
Whimbrel Swainson’s Hawk
Golden Eagle Western Kingbird

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

While theories abound for why, the consensus seems to be growing that this year has been a slower migration season than recent years, possibly because the nice weather encourages migrants to just keep pushing north, rather than stop to rest and forage. 

The most unusual find this week was a Common Poorwill photographed roosting in the Mt. Tabor area, where they have been reported a number of years in the past in this timeframe, but  rarely seen. 

Other notable finds of the week were in the shorebird and raptor families. On Sauvie Island, both a Long-billed Curlew and Whimbrel were reported by multiple observers at multiple locations along Sturgeon Lake. At the nearby Crown Zellerbach trail, a migrating Swainson’s Hawk was photographed, and Golden Eagles were reported at the Sandy River Delta, and photographed in Gaston.

Common Poorwill, photo by Scott Carpenter.

Western Kingbirds were reported in abundance this last week, popping up all over the Portland Metro region. 

Early birds this week include Black-headed Grosbeak, Swainson’s Thrush, and Western Wood-Pewee, while late birds include Snow Goose and Slate-colored Junco. A number of exotic and domesticated birds have also been reported this week, including free-roaming Indian Peafowl, Mandarin Duck, Ring-necked Pheasant, and Muscovy Duck.

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

April 22

Solitary Sandpipers Lesser Yellowlegs
Blue-winged Teal Black-crowned Night-heron
Nashville Warbler Cassin’s Vireo
Pacific-slope Flycatcher Hammond’s Flycatcher
Black-headed Grosbeak Swainson’s Hawk
Golden Eagle

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

Everyone’s newest favorite wetland, the mitigation wetland on 158th and NE Airport Way, this week added not one but three Solitary Sandpipers, joining the continuing Lesser Yellowlegs, Greater Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, and assorted waterfowl. The nearby Blue-winged Teal pair also continued in the slough behind the Kinco warehouse. A Black-crowned Night-heron was also reported in the same slough.

On Mt. Tabor, Nashville Warbler was the headliner this week, joined by Cassin’s Vireo, Pacific Slope-flycatcher, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Evening Grosbeak, Wilson’s Warbler, and Townsend’s Solitaire, which was also reported at Rocky Butte. A Black-headed Grosbeak was slightly early in the Scapoose area, while Western Tanagers were reported in several areas.

A Swainson’s Hawk was reported from Cooper Mountain, while a Golden Eagle was reported from Forest Grove.

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

Solitary Sandpiper, photo by Jen Goellnitz.

April 15

Blue-winged Teal Lesser Yellowlegs
Swainson’s Hawks Chipping Sparrows
Hammond’s Flycatcher Western Tanager
Swainson’s Thrush Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Snow Geese Swamp Sparrow
Mountain Bluebirds Canyon Wren

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

Spring migration is well underway, bringing a few notable migrants to the region. A drake Blue-winged Teal was seen keeping company with two drake Cinnamon Teal in a slough pond near NE 187th, and nearby on NE 156th, a wetland mitigation project is hosting a number of shorebirds including a single Lesser Yellowlegs. At least one if not two Swainson’s Hawks were also seen flying north, first at Mt. Tabor and then at Rose City Cemetery, which was visited often this week by birders in search of a long-staying group of Chipping Sparrows

Early birds this week included a couple reports of Hammond’s Flycatcher, Western Tanager, Swainson’s Thrush, and Pacific-slope Flycatcher. Late birds include Snow Geese on Sauvie Island, as well as Swamp Sparrow at Jackson Bottom. 

Meanwhile, Mountain Bluebirds are still being seen at Powell Butte, and Canyon Wren was reported from Wahclella Falls.

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

Blue-winged Teal, photo by Jim Cruce.

April 8

YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER Swamp Sparrow
Yellow-headed Blackbird Great-tailed Grackle
Mountain Bluebird LESSER NIGHTHAWK

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

The topline bird of the week is the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER reported from Scappoose on Wednesday afternoon, the second Columbia County record for the species. Other notable Columbia county birds this week include early Black-throated Gray Warbler and Purple Martin (both of which were reported sparingly across the region), as well as a late Swamp Sparrow that continues on Rentenaar Road. 

Other early birds include Vaux’s Swifts a couple weeks ahead of schedule at Oaks Bottom, where the same birder last saw them in November, a shockingly late date for these aerial insectivores. Yellow-headed Blackbird has returned to Vanport Wetlands, one of their few local breeding locations. Meanwhile, “McGrackle,” the Great-tailed Grackle residing at the Columbia Blvd McDonald’s, continues his watch.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, photo by Tom Murray.

Mountain Bluebirds continue their on-again-off-again pattern at Powell Butte, being seen again on Wednesday, and having been reported sporadically for three weeks, but never reliably. 

Statewide, the big news of the week was a LESSER NIGHTHAWK reported from Tillamook Bay. A third state record, it is the first since 2010, and the first outside Harney County.

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

April 1

Brant Black-bellied Plover
Black-necked Stilt Yellow-headed Blackbird
Cliff Swallow Common Yellowthroat
Black-throated Gray Warbler GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE
Harris’s Sparrow Vesper Sparrow
Northern Mockingbird

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

Migration seems to be heating up, with several notable reports of short-staying birds, including an impressive combo of Brant (one day) and Black-bellied Plover (less than one day) being reported from Broughton Beach, and a Black-necked Stilt pair showing up at Fernhill (one day). A also showed up at Vanport Wetlands. 

Early returners this week include a Yellow-headed Blackbird at Vanport Wetlands; Cliff Swallows in Washington County; and a Common Yellowthroat at Reed College. Reports also came in of a Black-throated Gray Warbler but, rather than being an early migrant, is said to have been visiting a feeder in Oregon City for the last two months, one of only a small handful of wintering records. 

Black-bellied Plover, photo by Mick Thompson.

Meanwhile, a longevity battle is underway between a few long-staying birds. The GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (in its 20th straight week on this report) was reported again from the Columbia Ave. McDonald’s, but reports also came from Vanport Wetlands and Elrod Slough. This prompted speculation of multiple birds, but most likely represents growing restlessness from McGrackle, who has yet to find a replacement mate for the female last reported in November. Meanwhile the Rentenaar Road Harris’s Sparrow continues for the 13th consecutive week, once again being visited by the Vesper Sparrow. The Pleasant Valley Road Northern Mockingbird remains the longevity record holder, however, having been consistently reported for a whopping 32 weeks. 

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

March 25

Black-throated Gray Warbler Barn Swallow
Bonaparte’s Gull Say’s Phoebe
Northern Mockingbird Vesper Sparrow
Harris’s Sparrow Canyon Wren
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

The slow trickle of early migration continues, with multiple reports of Black-throated Gray Warbler and a couple reports of Barn Swallow. A Bonaparte’s Gull was reported from the mouth of the Sandy River, representing a very rare spring find for the species. 

Other new notables for the week include a Say’s Phoebe along Pleasant Valley Rd. where the Northern Mockingbird continues. 

A Vesper Sparrow continues to keep the Harris’ Sparrow company on Rentenaar Rd, while the Canyon Wren continues to be heard and seen on the Multnomah Falls trail, and the Great-tailed Grackle continues at the Columbia Blvd. McDonald’s.

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

Black-throated Gray Warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler, photo by Hayley Crews.

March 18

Prairie Falcon Mountain Bluebird
Swainson’s Hawk Common Yellowthroat
Canyon Wren Black-backed Woodpecker
Harris’s Sparrow Black-crowned Night Heron
American White Pelicans Great-tailed Grackle

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

The most unusual find of the week goes to the Prairie Falcon photographed at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday, one of only a handful of records for Washington County.

In the “right on schedule” department,  Mountain Bluebird was reported from the Sandy River Delta on March 16. In the “way ahead of schedule” department, a dark morph Swainson’s Hawk was reported flying over a SE Portland home this week, possibly six weeks early for this most strongly-migratory member of the Buteo family. Other northbound migrants reported this week included a slightly early Common Yellowthroat from Clark County.

Prairie Falcon, photo by Wendy Miller.

In the “rare resident” department, a birder found both a Canyon Wren and Black-backed Woodpecker uphill from Multnomah Falls, where the Eagle Creek fire is thought to have created more habitat for both of these hard-to-find species. 

In the “fan favorites” department, the Rentenaar Harris’s Sparrow, St. John’s Black-crowned Night Heron, Sauvie’s Island American White Pelicans, and Smith & Bybee Sora all continued this week, as did the Great-tailed Grackle, but at Elrod Slough instead of its normal haunt at the Columbia Blvd. McDonald’s.

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

March 11

Say’s Phoebes Harlan’s Red-tailed Hawk
Red-breasted Merganser Canyon Wren
Yellow-headed Blackbird Great-tailed Grackle
Black-crowned Night Heron Harris’s Sparrow
American White Pelican

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

Mid-March is the traditional time for migrant Say’s Phoebes to pass through the region (although this year has seen two birds uncharacteristically winter in the area), and, right on time, one was found at Scappoose Bottoms. A Harlan’s Red-tailed Hawk was also seen in the area. 

In the Columbia Gorge, a Red-breasted Merganser was found at Rooster Rock, while a Canyon Wren was heard along the Wahclella Falls trail. They seem to be becoming more reliable in the area in winter. In North Portland, Yellow-headed Blackbird continue at Rivergate, while the Great-tailed Grackle continues on Columbia Blvd, and Black-crowned Night Heron continue their dusk transit through the St. John’s neighborhood.

Harris’s Sparrow and American White Pelican continue to be seen on Sauvie Island.

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

Red-breasted Merganser, photo by Adam Stunkel.

March 4

American White Pelicans Harris’s Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow Black-crowned Night Heron
Sora Great-tailed Grackle
Townsend’s Solitaire WINTER WREN
COMMON GRACKLE

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

Early spring migrants continue to trickle in, including widespread reports of Turkey Vulture and Rufous Hummingbird, and a report of Western Bluebirds at their traditional location of Powell Butte on their traditional date of March 1. Rare birds were hard to find this locally this week, but many overwintering rarities continued, including American White Pelicans on Sauvie Island; Harris’s Sparrow and Vesper Sparrow on Rentenaar Road; the nightly Black-crowned Night Heron flyovers in St. John’s; the Smith & Bybee Sora; the Great-tailed Grackle at the Columbia Blvd. McDonald’s; and sporadic reports of Townsend’s Solitaire.

Winter Wren (the actual one spotted), photo by Noah Strycker.

Statewide, the biggest news of the week was of a WINTER WREN reported outside of Corvallis. These birds were once considered the same species as our native Pacific Wren, but were separated years ago based on slightly different plumage and vocalizations. Presumed to be accepted, this would be a first state record. 

Additionally, on Wednesday a COMMON GRACKLE was found in Sun River.

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

February 25

Black-bellied Plover American White Pelicans
Harris’s Sparrow Sora
Eared Grebe Great-tailed Grackle
Townsend’s Solitaire

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

While not rare, much of the excitement this week has been the early returning migrants, including reports of Rufous Hummingbird, Turkey Vulture, and Violet Green Swallows. Spring is imminent! 

True rarities were harder to find this week, but Black-bellied Plover were reported from Fern Hill Road in Washington County. On Sauvie Island, American White Pelicans continue to be reported, as does the continuing Harris’s Sparrow on Rentenaar Road, and a few Ring-necked Pheasant, which are released annually on the island for hunting. 

Many of our rare wintering birds continue, including the Smith & Bybee Sora; the Eared Grebe at the mouth of the Sandy; the Great-tailed Grackle at the Columbia Blvd. McDonald’s; and a Townsend’s Solitaire on NE 24th Ave. 

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.

Townsend’s Solitaire, photo by Charles Gates

February 18

SNOWY OWL Ross’s Goose
Red-breasted Merganser Eared Grebe
Townsend’s Solitaire Say’s Phoebe
Northern Mockingbird Rufous Hummingbird
Western Tanager YELLOW-BILLED LOON

Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

For most birders, just seeing any birds was enough for this week, which saw some of the most extreme winter weather in decades in the region. One NE Portland birder did make the most of the Great Backyard Bird Count, reporting a SNOWY OWL flying over her house, being harassed by a large group of crows. It was not photographed, unfortunately, and has not been refound. 

The Ross’s Geese reported last week at Sauvie Island have not been refound after the snow. A single Red-breasted Merganser was reported from Broughton Beach, while the Eared Grebe continued near the mouth of the Sandy River. Townsend’s Solitaire continues to be reported from the Laurelhurst neighborhood. Noticeably absent this week were reports of both the Orchard Oriole and Great-tailed Grackle.

Snowy Owl, photo by Tara Lemezis.

In Washington County, the Gaston Say’s Phoebe and Pleasant Valley Road Northern Mockingbird both continue. 

Early returners this week include reports of Rufous Hummingbird and Western Tanager. Meanwhile, a juvenile YELLOW-BILLED LOON was reported from Foster Reservoir in Linn County, fueling speculation of it being the same bird that was at Hagg Lake at the beginning of the year. 

That’s most of it for this week. For reports, corrections, and tips, email Brodie Cass Talbott at bcasstalbott@audubonportland.org.