Best Birdwatching Spots in North Central Oregon

Northern pygmy owl - birdwatching in Maupin

Birdwatching in the Maupin Area is a popular pastime year-round. Wasco County is home to over 270 different species of birds, according to the Wasco County eBird Hotspot, and 115 different species have been spotted at Maupin City Park – right next door to Imperial River Company! Wasco County Birding Locations Guide is an in-depth resource for birding in and around Maupin. We’ve summarized some of their findings and recommendations below:


Just a two-hour drive from Portland, Maupin is a beautiful and accessible location for novice and expert ornithologists alike. The many shade trees located in and around town provide a welcome habitat for local and migrating birds. Western Scrub-Jay and Eurasian Collared Doves can be found here, and the slopes above the Deschutes River are home to Chukar and sagebrush species.

Another pro tip: “the microclimate created by the river will produce temperatures that are often [milder] than the surrounding area. Wintering warblers and other species can be found in these green seeps.”

White River Wildlife Area

Located off of Highway 197 in Tygh Valley, this area covers over 30,000 acres in the foothills east of Mt. Hood National Forest. Here you may spot Tricolored Blackbirds, Nashville and MacGillivray’s Warblers, Wild Turkey, and a variety of woodpeckers. Northern Pygmy Owl, Barred Owl, and Great Horned Owl have also been seen in this region. If you’re exploring the White River area during the winter, note that some access roads may be closed. Consult the Birding Locations Guide for detailed directions and road information.

Sherar’s Bridge

The area around this bridge at the iconic Sherar’s Falls is another great location for spotting a variety of fine feathered friends. Canyon-dwelling birds such as Rock Wrens, Chukar, Yellow Warbler, Lazuli Bunting can be seen (and heard!) around this historic Native American fishing area.

Other popular locations for birdwatching include Oak Springs Fish Hatchery Road, Wapinita, Pine Hollow Reservoir, and Tygh Valley.

Add birdwatching to your list of Central Oregon activities this year. We’ll see you out there!

Learn more:
East Cascades Audubon Society
Central Oregon Birders On-Line
Central Oregon Bird Checklist


Imperial River Company, Maupin OR
Lodging and Rafting on the Lower Deschutes River