Skip to main content

Author: Elva Manquera

Sunday Afternoon Kids’ Hats with a Cause

Need a new hat for your little adventure buddy? Sunday Afternoons is selling bird-themed kid and toddler trucker hats with proceeds going to KBO. The hummingbird and osprey designs were done by artist Acacia Lacy.

Click here for the toddler osprey trucker hat

Click here for the kids’ osprey trucker hat

Click here for the toddler hummingbird trucker hat

Click here for the kids’ hummingbird trucker hat

You can visit KBO at the Sunday Afternoons storefront in Ashland on September 10th. By doing so you will receive a coupon for your next purchase!


News Release: Conservation of Landbirds and Associated Habitats and Ecosystems in the East Cascade Mountains of OR and WA

The updated Partners in Flight Conservation of Landbirds and Associated Habitats and Ecosystems in the East Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington (Altman and Stephens 2022) brings forward recommendations and support for the conservation of landbirds and their associated habitats and ecosystems in the East Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington. The desired habitat attributes of 24 focal species are used as a conservation tool providing an opportunity to achieve broad ecosystem and restoration goals.

The primary goal of this document is to promote the long-term persistence of healthy populations of native landbirds and associated habitats and ecosystems. To facilitate that goal, described in the plan is a process that emphasizes providing quantitative, prescriptive recommendations for the desired range of habitat types and habitat conditions needed for landbird conservation. That process can be implemented in conjunction with other land management priorities to best meet multiple objectives.

The foundation of Partners in Flights’ long-term strategy for bird conservation is a series of geographically based landbird conservation plans, of which this document is one. The primary goal of PIF landbird conservation planning is to promote the long-term persistence of healthy populations of native landbirds. This document is intended to facilitate that goal by stimulating conservation actions for landbirds, particularly for not listed and nongame landbirds, which historically have been under-represented in conservation efforts, and many of which are exhibiting significant declines that may be possible to reverse if appropriate actions are taken now. Thus, the implementation of the recommendations in this document also supports efforts to reduce the need for future listings of bird species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

This document is an update of Conservation Strategy for Landbirds in the East-Slope Cascade Mountains of Eastern Oregon and Washington (Altman 2000). In version 2.0 there is continued leadership in being progressive and innovative by providing examples of habitat objectives at site and landscape scales, as well as population objectives that encourage habitat management for small populations where appropriate. It is hoped that the presentation of these types of quantitative biological objectives will not only stimulate conservation action on the ground but also encourage data collection and analyses to test the models and professional judgment used to develop the objectives.

Click here to read the full Partners in Flight Conservation of Landbirds and Associated Habitats and Ecosystems in the East Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington

Bird Banding at Crater Lake

In partnership with the National Park Service KBO is hosting visitors at our Crater Lake bird banding station on Tuesday mornings, the next tour is July 12th at 7:30 am and 9:15 am. This is an amazing opportunity for the whole family to see migratory songbirds up close and learn about our long-term bird banding program. For five years visitors have observed the banding process from which Crater Lake National Park and KBO gain valuable information about the presence and diversity of songbird species, timing of migration, and productivity of local breeding birds.

Trained biologists and an experienced park ranger will show you the bird banding and data collection procedures, including how a bird species is identified along with its weight, sex, identity, wing molt, age, and health.

Nowhere else in Oregon is there a banding site at this elevation and habitat, providing this valuable visitor experience and research opportunity.

Click here to learn more about this opportunity and to register. 

Birding and Hiking Little Hyatt Lake


Join Shannon Rio for a leisurely day of hiking and birding the pacific crest trail into Little Hyatt Lake. This 8-mile hike starts at Hwy 66 where the PCT takes us through meadows and woods to our lunch spot of Little Hyatt. Migratory birds and resident birds are nesting in this area. The hike is level and rated easy. Upon arrival at the lake, we will enjoy lunch and whatever birds are visiting there. Usually, dippers are in Keene Creek and Osprey like to fish in the lake. Our hike will take us back to our vehicles via the road.

Date: Saturday, July 2nd, 7 am – 3 pm.

Directions: Meet at Rite Aid to carpool the 1/2 hour drive to the Greensprings Summit where we will park and walk from there.
Wear comfy hiking shoes, bring lunch and liquids, binoculars, and cameras. Our pace will be slow as we bird and study flowers along the way.

Drive your own car if you prefer or let us know if you would like to be a passenger.

Suggested donation: $0-$50.

About the Guide

Shannon Rio is on the board of the Klamath Bird Observatory because of its work to preserve birds and wild places in nature. She is a wildlife educator with a goal to connect people (and herself) with nature so that they will want to protect what they love. She teaches classes in various settings and also teaches yoga, works as a nurse practitioner, is devoted to family and friends and community, and loves learning anything about the natural world through hiking and birding and sitting quietly observing the wonder of it all.

News Release: Population and Habitat Objectives for Landbirds in Prairies, Oak, and Riparian Habitats of Western Oregon and Washington

The newly released conservation plan, Population and Habitat Objectives for Landbirds in Prairies, Oak, and Riparian Habitats of Western Oregon and Washington (Rockwell et al 2022), provides quantitative and multi-scaled population and habitat objectives for 26 focal and seven imperiled bird species. As the title suggests, the plan focuses on prairie, oak, and riparian habitats in the Puget Lowlands, Willamette Valley, and Klamath Mountains ecoregions of western Oregon and Washington. This document was prepared for the Oregon-Washington Chapter of Partners in Flight (PIF), Pacific Birds Habitat Joint Venture, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Forest Service.

This document is an updated version of the Conservation Strategy for Landbirds in the Lowlands and Valleys of Western Oregon and Washington (Altman 2000). Among PIF bird conservation plans, this plan like its predecessor has quantitative and prescriptive objectives that were established for habitat attributes important to landbird species.

“This important document provides both land managers and bird conservationists answers to the essential questions of how much, where, and by when,” says Bob Altman of the American Bird Conservancy “it sets a new threshold for conservation standards in regional planning.”

Recommendations included are intended to guide planning efforts and management actions of land managers, direct expenditures of government and non-government organizations, and stimulate monitoring and research to support landbird conservation. The recommendations are also expected to be the biological foundation for developing and implementing integrated conservation strategies for multiple species at multiple geographic scales to ensure functional ecosystems with healthy bird populations.

“Partnerships are the backbone of Joint Ventures. A primary role of Migratory Bird Joint Ventures is to step-down continental habitat priorities for waterfowl, waterbirds, landbirds, and shorebirds to each Joint Venture region. This plan and the unique partnership between Pacific Birds, Klamath Bird Observatory, and PIF fills this gap; it frames conservation delivery strategies, sets the stage for working towards collective goals, and helps us meet our federal mandate,“ says Sara Evans-Peters U.S. Assistant Coordinator, Pacific Birds Habitat Joint Venture.

The section on imperiled species is unique to this Oregon-Washington PIF plan. Imperiled species were selected based on a population estimate of <2,000 individuals in any of the three ecoregions; a high degree of association with prairie, oak, and riparian habitats; and a historic anecdotal baseline as a relatively common species. The focal species approach assumes that the suite of focal species will cover the habitat requirements of imperiled bird species, but this may not hold true for imperiled species that are ecological specialists. In this region, we are fortunate to have uniquely detailed data regarding the population status and conservation needs of many of our imperiled species. To ensure their conservation, imperiled species were recognized and given their own biological objectives and habitat attributes, as well as integrated where appropriate as species to benefit from conservation actions directed towards focal species. Highlighted below is the Oregon Vesper Sparrow.


This document is intended to complement the goals, objectives, and strategies in several other planning and conservation processes and initiatives by filling a niche that is usually absent in those efforts: quantitative, prescriptive recommendations for habitat conditions most suitable for individual and suites of landbird species at several geographic scales (e.g., regional, subregional, site). The use and implementation of these recommendations can be done independently for landbird-specific conservation, or complementarily within the context of broader conservation goals to support and strengthen other plans.

You can view the whole conservation plan here.

KBO Logo (96 dpi)

Bird Banding with Klamath Bird Observatory Scientists: Science in Action!

It has been said that bird banding is at once both a delicate art and precise science. It is a method of bird monitoring to track bird populations and demographic trends (characteristics of the population) over time.

First, a bird is gently caught in a soft, fine net called a mist net. After being carefully removed by a biologist, a small aluminum band is placed around the bird’s leg like a bracelet. Engraved on the band is a unique number that will allow biologists to track the bird if it is recaptured. Next, data (e.g., age, sex, fat, feather molt, weight) about the bird are collected. Finally, the bird is released near where it was caught and continues its daily activities.

Bird banding allows scientists to answer questions about bird populations. These questions can then inform land management practices to aid in effective bird and habitat conservation. For example, bird banding data tell us if birds successfully breed in an area—an indication of a healthy habitat. Banding data also tell us if birds are surviving migration, information that informs international conservation efforts.

From Left to right Axel Rutter, Victoria Langham, Claire Stuyck, and Yuly Caicedo Ortiz.

Come join a KBO biologist and the KBO interns for a bird banding experience out in the field. This is an amazing opportunity to meet some of our scientists in a small group setting, learn about bird banding and see some of Oregon’s birds up close. You will observe live-action science being done in the morning (mist-netting and data collection) with a light brunch (provided). Afterward, we will bird the scenic Wood River until early afternoon.

Register Here!



WHEN:  Friday, June 17th, 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (inclusive of drive time to and from Ashland).

WHERE:  Upper Klamath Lake

TRIP LEADERS:  Lisa Michelbrink and Shannon Rio, KBO Board Members

COST: Space is limited to 5 cars of 4 people each. The cost is $500/car.

KBO relies on private donations to further our mission of advancing bird and habitat conservation through science, education, and partnerships. By attending KBO FUNdraising events, you help support KBO’s efforts. So, if you love birds, believe in birds as indicators of environmental wellbeing, and want to support KBO’s science-driven bird conservation mission, please register for this FUNdraising event today! We look forward to seeing you at one or more of our Spring Series FUNdraising Events.

Klamath Bird Observatory follows CDC guidelines. KBO events are being offered with COVID-19 safety as KBO’s primary concern. Proof of vaccination will be required for all in-person participants. All individuals attending an event must also fill out the Waiver of Liability form that will be emailed to you once you register for the event. Paper copies will be available at the event. Please do not attend the event if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Masks are not required but wear based on comfortability.

Halcyon Journey Presentation by Marina Richie

Join author Marina Richie for stories and excerpts from her new book, Halcyon Journey: In Search of the Belted Kingfisher—illustrated by Newport artist Ram Papish and published by Oregon State University Press. Richie’s narrative weaves natural history, myth, and memoir to illuminate the jay-sized bird of cocky crest, headfirst dive, and rattling cry. Ultimately, she reveals an inviting pathway for all seeking kinship with nature nearby. Note–this is the very first book to feature North America’s beloved Belted Kingfisher.

Halcyon Journey: In Search of the Belted Kingfisher is a story of keen observation, curiosity, and revelation in the presence of flowing waters. The kingfisher is linked to the mythic origin of halcyon days, a state of idyllic happiness that author Marina Richie hoped to find outside her back door in her then home of Missoula, Montana.

Little did Marina know her quarry would prove to be a skittish bird, infamous for vanishing around a stream bend. Delving deeper, she embraced tribal stories of the belted kingfisher as messenger and helper, pivotal qualities for a journey extending from one to multiple seasons.

Blunders, epiphanies, and a citizen science discovery punctuated days tracking a bird that outwits at every turn. The female is more colorful than the male (a mystery) and their earthen nest holes are difficult to locate. While the heart of the drama takes place on Rattlesnake Creek, adventures seeking kingfisher kin on the lower Rio Grande, South Africa, and London illuminate her relationships with the birds of her home stream.

By spending many hours observing a nesting pair of kingfishers from within a camouflaged blind, her status as a visitor turned to that of a resident. By the forested creek’s edge, she came to terms with the loss of her naturalist father. Here, too, she tapped into her own powers, inspired by the bird of the headfirst plunge and awakening rattle call. With newfound courage, Marina left Missoula to travel as a roving naturalist in her popup camper, and then returned to Oregon (her home state before Montana). The kingfisher remains her muse.


This presentation will be hosted via Zoom on June 16th, 6 pm – 7:30 pm. Click here to register. 

Books are available for purchase at the Northwest Nature Shop in Ashland, OR.

Halcyon Journey   Halcyon JourneyHalcyon Journey

Author Bio

Marina Richie is a nature writer living in Bend, Oregon, She wrote two children’s books under a prior name: Bird Feats of Montana and Bug Feats of Montana. Her writing appears in many publications including Birdwatching magazine, on National Wildlife Federation and National Audubon websites, and on award-winning panels for the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuges. Marina also serves on the board of the Greater Hells Canyon Council. Please visit her website featuring her bi-monthly nature blogs.

Beginner Birder Talk and Walk

Birding benefits your mood, your psychological well-being, your mental health, and your cognitive functioning. Join board member Amanda Alford to learn how to begin your birding journey or how to get back to your basics.

The Talk will include all of Amanda’s best tips for:

  • Finding birds
  • Understanding and using binoculars
  • Identifying species by size, shape, suit, scene, and sound
  • Utilizing smartphone applications and online resources
  • And more!

The Talk will conclude with an in-depth look at just some of the species we are likely to see during our Walk at North Mountain Park. Come level up your birding skills and gain the confidence you need to have even more fun watching birds!

Talk: Thursday, June 9th, 7 pm at the KBO office at 2425 Siskiyou Blvd in Ashland, with the option of watching via Zoom if you prefer

Walk: Saturday, June 11th, meet at North Mountain Park at 9 am.

Click here to register for the Talk and Walk

Click here to register for the talk ONLY. 

Don’t Forget to Vote!

Are you an Ashland Food Coop member?

Klamath Bird Observatory is in the running to secure a month in the Ashland Food Coop Change for Good Program. To secure a spot we need to be in the top 10 nonprofit organizations and to do this we need you!

Check your email from the Ashland Food Co-op for an email that was delivered on 5/24/22. This email has your ballot for the Change for Good Program! The email is titled: Ashland Food Co-op 2022 Elections. You will use the link in that email to vote for the Klamath Bird Observatory to help us become a Change for Good partner. You can vote for your top 10 of 20 favorite nonprofits. We can’t do this without you!

The voting deadline is 6/6/22 at 9 pm. PLEASE VOTE and tell your friends.