Birding the Wood River by Canoe

Canoe and Bird on the Wood River

Wood River

Canoeing Wood River, Photo by KM Pyle


Where: Wood River, OR
Instructors: Kevin Spencer and Dave Haupt
Date: Saturday, June 17, 2017
Location: Wood River Wetlands, Oregon
Tuition: $165
Maximum: 15 students, for adults and kids 16+
Level: Moderate fitness, expect 3-5 mile hike and then canoeing

About the Adventure on the Wood River

Expect to see 70 species or more recorded for this area. To enhance our chances of seeing riparian birds such as Willow Flycatchers and Black-capped Chickadees, we’ll start early with a bird walk at Wood River Wetlands, a BLM recreation site.

Then we’ll move to Petric Park, have an early lunch, and put in our canoes midmorning, paddle out the channel and head into Agency Lake. Paddling unobtrusively in cattail, bulrush, and “wocus” habitats, we’ll observe birds at their peak in breeding plumage, songs, and displays. The loud “kalwp” calling of the Pied-billed Grebe and pumping sounds of the American Bittern will come from the marsh, while Franklin’s Gulls could be fly catching overhead. With possible views of “rushing” Western and Clark’s Grebes atop the open water, the day will also be an intriguing hunt for birds performing mating dances and behaviors.

All canoeing will take place in a sheltered part of the Upper Klamath lake. After returning to Petric Park, you’ll have the option to continue with more land birding if desired. Canoes provided by Let’s Paddle outfitters.

For more information and to register go to The Siskiyou Field Institute’s website

About Siskiyou Field Institute

Siskiyou Field Institute offers wonderful immersive workshops and classes for those who what to learn about natural history of the Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion. This special area of the world is one of the six global “hot spots” for flora and fauna biodiversity.

The Chanticleer Inn has a history of supporting SFI and promoting their education, research and community programs.

“Ecotone” by Pepper Trail


I am very fond of poetry, especially those poems about nature. Pepper Trail is a bit of a local legend. He is a research biologist specializing in ornithology.  He is about to retire from being the senior forensic scientist and ornithologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Ashland Oregon. He and his team fight wildlife trafficking.

A poem by Pepper Trail

“Not water alone does flow, but land
All its coverings and its inhabitants
The deer walking from valley to ridge
The birds and the every living thing
Find here, in a world of change, their place.”



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Lithia Park Nature Walks — Free

Lithia Park Nature Walks

Ashland Creek

Guided Lithia Park Nature Walks — Free

From May to September, no matter the weather, a trained docent naturalists will lead a fun, informative and easy 1.5 hour nature walk through Ashland’s gem — Lithia Park.

Topics include: trees, flowers, birds, climate, water and history of the park.

Days: Sunday, Wednesday and Friday (Saturday in July and August)
Time: 10 am
Meeting point: park entrance nearest the Plaza

And yes, you can do it all!  You can enjoy the Chanticleer breakfast and get to the nature walk on time without being rushed.

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

“Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden”


Calliope Hummingbirds

Learn what to do in your garden to attract hummingbirds.

Klamath Bird Observatory‘s month of May “Talk and “Walk”” presented by Laura Fleming, a KBO Board Member

Talk: Wednesday, May 6th 6:30-8pm

Laura Fleming is opening Wild Birds Unlimited in Medford this spring.  The “Walk” for this event will be an invitation to visit Wild Birds Unlimited at its new location plus a gift certificate offering a discount on purchases.

$25 fee is for both the Talk and Walk.  Contact to sign up.



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Klamath Bird Observatory Talk: Beautiful Birds, Beautiful Words

Klamath Bird Observatory Talk

Klamath Bird Observatory Talk

Klamath Bird Observatory Presents on October 15th, “Beautiful Birds, Beautiful Words”

Klamath Bird Observatory Board Member Shannon Rio combines bird photography with poetry, myth, and lore in this presentation that celebrates nature, literature, and our connection to words.

Details: Wednesday October 15th from 6:30-8:00pm, Ages 10-Adult, event is at North Mountain Park Nature Center, and cost is $10. Pre-register online at or call the Nature Center at 541-488-6606.


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Black backed Woodpecker: Bio-Notes

Black-backed Woodpecker, a Klamath Bird Observatory Note

Black-backed woodpecker excavating a nest

Black-backed Woodpecker

Black-backed woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) is said to be “one of the most enigmatic woodpeckers.”  I guess, they are not considering the Ivory-billed in their estimation.

These birds can be sighted in the mountains near Ashland.  Black-back woodpeckers prefer forested areas that have had fires.  For more information and details of these black beauties, go to Klamath Bird Observatory’s biology note.


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Fledged Screech Owls

Screech Owls! Great photo from KBO

screech owls

“We’re watching you”   Photo (C) Peter J Thiemann.

These are the very same Screech Owl babies  who were ‘disrupting’ the plays in the Elizabethan theater earlier in the season.

As soon as the music started up or actors started to say their lines, the owlets would join in. The audience could hear them in the ‘background’ [thankfully they weren’t miked] and it sounded like the sound system was having a problem.

When they were hungry and calling for food from their parent, they were even louder. There’s a reason they are called “Screech Owls”!

Now that they are fully fledged (as you can see by the picture) and learning to hunt for themselves, it’s been much quieter in the theater.

This photo comes from Klamath Bird Observatory Facebook page.


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Springtime for Lawn Flamingos

While walking about the neighborhood above the Chanticleer Inn, there’s a garden bed filled with spring tulips and lawn flamingos.   I couldn’t resist sharing how some neighbors celebrate Springtime….

Lawn flamingos on Terrace Ave

Lawn flamingo on Terrace

Lawn Flamingos

Springtime Lawn Flamingos Among the Tulips

Pink Lawn Flamingos

Pink Lawn Flamingo with Blue Bunny Ears


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First Annual Mountain Bird Festival in Ashland

On the Mountain Bird Festival's 'target' list, the beautiful Mountain Bluebird. Photo by David Hodkinson

The beautiful Mountain Bluebird is on the festival’s target list. Photo by David Hodkinson

Mountain Bird Festival hosted by the Klamath Bird Observatory

Ashland, Oregon, May 30 through June 1, 2014

Mountain Bird festival offers 3 days of guided bird walks and keynote presentations with half-day and full-day field trips both Saturday and Sunday.

Klamath Bird Observatory will host this community conservation event in the spring of 2014 in Ashland, Oregon. The festival combines a celebration of nature with the stewardship ethic needed to ensure thriving landscapes for humans and wildlife. Every person who participates in this festival will become a significant steward of the science that drives bird conservation.

Extend your stay and enjoy more of Ashland and its surrounds: wineries, theaters, hiking, art galleries, restaurants.

The mountain birds of interest migrate through the Siskiyou and Cascade mountains, many viewing areas are easy driving distance from the town of  Ashland, Oregon.  The ‘target’ list includes: Redhead, Common Merganser, Mountain Quail, nesting Sandhill Cranes, nesting Osprey, Ferruginous Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, dancing Western and Clark’s Grebes, Wilson’s Snipe, Black Terns, Great Gray Owl, Western Screech-Owl, Vaux’s Swift, Calliope Hummingbird, Prairie Falcon, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Williamson’s Sapsucker, White-headed Woodpecker, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Dusky Flycatcher, Cassin’s Vireo, Mountain Chickadee, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Townsend’s Solitaire, Mountain Bluebird, Hermit Warbler, MacGillivray’s Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Green-tailed Towhee, Vesper Sparrow, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Lazuli Bunting.

Bird Taxonomy and Diversity Class

Birding Klamath with Pepper Trail, PhD.

“Bird Taxonomy and Diversity”

Birding Klamath

Audubon's Warbler photo by David Hodkinson

Dates: June 23rd and 24th, 2012, Tuition: $100

Location: Ashland, OR

Instructor: Pepper Trail

Description: Hone your identification skills and explore the relationships among groups of birds in this lab and field course. On Saturday, join Pepper Trail, Ph.D., for a day in the lab at SOU, where you’ll refresh your taxonomic know-how, look at identifying characteristics, and discuss their ecological significance.

On Sunday, the class will travel to the Klamath Basin, one of the richest birding sites in Oregon, to practice identifying species in the field.

Pepper Trail, PhD has studied bird behavior and conservation around the world with the support of the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, and other groups. He works as the ornithologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Forensics Lab in Ashland.
For more information go the Siskiyou Field Institute’s website.


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