Welcome to Sunset Magazine’s #1 Birding Destination in the West.
NEWSFLASH, April 2013: The “dancing” western and Clark’s grebes are back along with white pelicans, terns, and shorebirds.
Work on your Life List or just enjoy the feathered sights and sounds at the north end of the West’s largest natural freshwater lake. The Upper Klamath marshes and open water next to forests host a large variety of birds in a relatively small area. Check the area map for symbols denoting birding hotspots. Visit the Klamath Basin Birding Trail or pick up their birding map at any resort or tourist information office for additional details. Arm yourself with an early start, binocs, KBBT map, and this newspaper for an unparalleled day of birding. Look, listen, and enjoy. If you’d rather bird with an expert, Lonesome Duck offers half and full-day tours with an experienced naturalist.
Favorite Birding Routes
Odessa Campground and Upper Klamath NWR to Sevenmile Trailhead
The 15,000 acre refuge offers excellent nesting and brood-rearing areas for waterfowl, bald eagles, osprey, and colonial nesting birds. Odessa, Malone, and Crystal Springs are part of a series of gushing springs that dot the western shoreline. They feature superb examples of forest and wetland species together, including woodpeckers, chickadees, warblers, wrens, blackbirds, and night herons. See nesting black terns and Clark’s grebes on a morning paddle at Rocky Point, and then spot nesting sandhill cranes, yellow-headed blackbirds and both white-headed and pileated woodpeckers at CrystalWood Lodge in the afternoon. In the evening listen for yellow rail near Sevenmile Marsh, a high-elevation wetland with a mixed conifer forest, where nesting species include Lincoln’s Sparrow, nuthatches, chickadees, and warblers.
Jackson F. Kimball State Recreation Site to Fort Klamath Museum
The river aspen, marsh wetland, and open stands of ponderosa pine are excellent for viewing migrating songbirds. This area shelters nesting grouse, sapsuckers, grosbeaks, vireos, and warblers. Wintering raptors frequent the adjacent ranches.
Collier Memorial State Park to the Wood River Wetlands and Petric Park
Along Spring Creek, Collier State Park hosts jays, osprey and dippers, as well as summer hummingbirds. The Wood River Wetlands and Petric Park offer riparian strips, marsh, and open water that attract Clark’s grebe, terns, phalaropes, pelicans, and songbirds. In the winter, view Agency Lake’s waterfowl from the Wood River Wetlands and hawks and eagles from the country roads around Fort Klamath.
Great Meadow, Fish Lake, and Fourmile Lake
Take Hwy 140 West up into the Cascades for a diversity of habitats from wet and dry meadows, to ponds, to marsh, to mature and sub-alpine forests, to mountain lakes. Great Meadow, a unique habitat, hosts nesting spotted sandpipers, American pipits, warblers, and Vaux swifts. Fourmile and Fish Lakes offer mature Douglas fir and grand fir forests surrounding sub-alpine lakes with nesting woodpeckers, crossbills, nuthatches, and western tanagers.