Wildlife and Bird Watching in Portland’s Backyard
Throughout the year many species emerge at wetlands, preserves and nature parks throughout Tualatin Valley. Winged visitors to the valley include land birds heading south and shore birds landing around ponds, rivers and lakes.
Varieties of birds and wildlife that may be spotted at the region’s nature hot spots include Canada Goose, Western Meadowlark, Northern Shrike and certain Wood Ducks and Mallards.
Spring migration season brings colorful songbirds to the valley, while winter months give way to the Peregrine Falcon, House Finches, Violet-green Swallows, Ruddy Ducks and certain types of bats. During the fall months, shorebirds and other birds flock here for the winter.
The combination of the valley’s ponds, seasonal wetlands, forest and upland habitat make it both a desirable stopping point and year-round home. These residents include: Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagles, Redtailed Hawks, Belted Kingfisher, Downy Woodpeckers, Northern Flicker, Ring-necked Pheasant, California Quail, Robins, Chickadees, Red-winged Blackbirds and a variety of waterfowl.
The best time to view wildlife is during the most active times for the birds and animals: dawn and dusk.
More than Birds
Sightings are not limited to the winged variety. Mammals making Tualatin Valley their home include beaver, Pacific Brush rabbits, Snowshoe Hares, squirrels, moles, gophers, shrews, opossum, red and grey foxes, raccoons, mink, coyote, skunks, Black-tailed deer and porcupine. This also includes the Northern flying squirrel and the Pacific Jumping Mouse. Additionally, 27 species of reptiles and amphibians—including varieties of salamander, bullfrogs, turtles, lizards and snakes—may also be spotted around the region’s natural spaces.
Plan a Birding Getaway to Tualatin Valley
Download these bird checklists to keep track of the many species you may encounter while visiting: Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge’s “Watchable Wildlife” (PDF) and Jackson Bottom Wetland’s “Bird Species Checklist” (PDF).