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.

*On Monday, March 23, the Oregon Governor issued an order to stay home, with some exceptions. Stay safe, and stay healthy, in these challenging times.

May 22, 2020

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Marbled Murrelet
Lark Sparrow Red-necked Phalarope
White-faced Ibis Eastern Kingbird
Ash-throated Flycatcher Swainson’s Hawk
American Avocet


Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

Little did we know two weeks ago that a ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK that visited a feeder in Damascus would portend these flashy Pheucticus showing up en masse this week, with a bird coming to a feeder in Gresham, then another in Camp Sherman, followed by birds appearing on the same day in Lincoln county and in Eugene. All four have been males, evoking the obvious question of how many females are flying under the radar. 

A Marbled Murrelet found at Hagg Lake was a jaw-dropping Washington county first-record. The bird seemed to only stay for the day before hopefully heading west again. 

A pair of Lark Sparrows associating with Savannah Sparrows near Broughton Beach were seen by many this past week before moving on. It has also been a good year for these birds on the westside, with one also showing up on Sauvie Island in Columbia County, marking Clark County as the only Portland-area county without a sighting this year. Red-necked Phalarope were also widely-reported this week, with continuing birds in North Portland (the pair seemingly relocated to Force Lake/Vanport), single birds at Koll Center Wetlands, TRNWR, and three birds at the Willamette Wastewater Ponds in Clackamas County. 

Three flyover White-faced Ibis were observed at Oaks Bottom. Another has been seen recently at Ridgefield NWR. 

The first Eastern Kingbird of the season was reported from Clackamas County near Sandy, while earlier in the week, an Ash-throated Flycatcher was found at Kellog Creek in Milwaukie. 

Swainson’s Hawk continue to be seen across the region, invariably in flight headed north. The pair of American Avocet also continue at TRNWR. 

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

May 14, 2020

Rock Wren Lewis’s Woodpecker
Black-crowned Night Heron Red-necked Phalarope
Wilson’s Phalarope American Avocet
Black-necked Stilt Black Tern
Black-crowned Night-Heron Lark Sparrow
Nuttall’s Woodpecker


Notes on Sightings

Bold: Local rarity | CAPS: Statewide rarity

Rocky Butte, oft-forgotten next to its larger and more well-known neighbors Mt. Tabor and Powell Butte, produced a great tandem this week in Rock Wren and Lewis’ Woodpecker. While the woodpecker was fleeting, the wren allowed for many looks over the weekend. The other Mother’s Day surprise was a juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron found at Oaks Bottom. These birds have been quite hard to find in Multnomah County in the last few years, and while they have been easier to spot at Koll Wetlands in Washington County, they interestingly have not been seen there for the last month. Koll did, however, have a Lark Sparrow last week to liven up the action. While a number have been seen in Multnomah County over the last few years, they are exceedingly rare in Washington County, and Clackamas County where one was found at Brown’s Ferry Park this week. 

A Red-necked Phalarope was a nice consolation for some birders in Multnomah County, which has thus far not benefited from the influx of Wilson’s Phalarope seen across the rest of the state. On the topic of shorebirds, the American Avocet and Black-winged Stilt continued at TRNWR. A Black Tern was photographed at Fernhill Wetlands. 

(Much) further south, a NUTTALL’S WOODPECKER was photographed at a park near Ashland, but has not been refound despite dedicated searching. 

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