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Tag: Birding

Birding Upper Klamath Lake Environment

Kimball State Park

Registration is Closed! The trip is Full. 

This will be a day of casual birding, easy walking with short distances, and exploring the beautiful Upper Klamath area. Our itinerary will start us off at the Rite Aid parking lot in Ashland at 7:30 am. Our first stop will be Rocky Point on Klamath Lake to check out water birds and then we will walk the road to see and hear forest birds. From there we will drive to Kimball State Park to view the turquoise headwaters of the Wood River eat lunch and do more birding. The next stop is the nearby Wood River day-use area where we will be walking its short trails. Possible sightings are red-breasted nuthatch, white-headed woodpecker, bald eagle, song sparrow, great blue heron, and possibly a fall migrant. Aspens may treat us to fall colors! Bring bino’s, cameras, lunch, clothes for layering (higher elevation will be cooler temps), and your drink.

Date: September 25th, leaving Ashland at 7:30 am

This outing is free there is a suggested donation of $20-$100.

We will be carpooling with 4 cars total.

Covid guidelines apply including proof of vaccination.

Shannon Rio is the board president 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.

Click here to learn more about our board members. 


March 4-8, 2019—with Harry Fuller (Birding guidebook author) and Shannon Rio (KBO Board President)

This birding trip will focus on wintering birds of the Puget Sound region that spend the summer in nesting territories further north. The group will visit many birding hotspots at some the most beautiful areas of the Pacific Northwest (maybe the world!).

Monday, March 4
Our birding begins at the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. From there we will proceed to Lacey to our motel and dinner. Glaucous-winged Gull, Varied Thrush, Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser, Northern Pintail, Bufflehead, Pileated Woodpecker, and both Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets are likely birds on this first day.

Tuesday, March 5
Proceed north on US 101 to bird along Hood Canal. Lunch at Hama Hama Oyster Saloon. We will make stops at various parks and overlooks along the canal which is actually a natural, narrow finger of ocean reaching down from the top of Puget Sound complex. Birds we should see include Red-breasted Merganser, Brant, Common and Barrow’s Goldeneye, Red-necked and Western Grebe, Common Loon, Bald Eagle, Pelagic Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, Long-tailed Duck, American Black Oystercatcher, Belted Kingfisher, various gulls. Dinner and overnight in Sequim for next two nights.

Wednesday, March 6
Birding on upper Olympic Peninsula including Ediz Hook in Port Angeles Harbor and Dungeness NWR in Sequim. Target birds for the day: flocks of Harlequin, floats of Rhino Auklets, Trumpeter Swans, Red-throated Loons, more Long-tailed Ducks, all three scoter species, Brandt’s Cormorant. Dinner at Sequim restaurant.

Thursday, March 7
We will take the ferry from Port Townsend north to Whidbey Island, thence north to Skagit Flats. Possible birds today include Rough-legged Hawk, Gyrfalcon, Short-eared Owl, Trumpeter Swan, Snow Goose, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, all three cormorant species … and try for a Yellow-billed Loon which usually shows up along the route each winter. Overnight along I-5 north of Seattle at Marysville.

Friday, March 8
Depart for home.

COST: $782.00 per person—includes accommodations for sharing a double room, travel expenses (round-trip travel in large van), and expert birding tour guide for the 5 day, 4 night expedition. Breakfasts will be provided at the hotels we stay at—participants will responsible for other meals (lunch and dinner). Folks are encouraged to bring lunch type foods as we will eat outdoors while we are birding.

$200 of the cost is a tax deductible contribution to the Klamath Bird Observatory. Contact Shannon Rio at or by calling 541-840-4655 if you are interested in signing up or if you have questions.

Upcoming Talk and Walk Class: Nature Photography


TALK: December 9th, 2018 Sunday 5:00-6:30pm

Join Mel Clements as he presents 4 short DVD’s (photography and music) that highlights the birds and landscape of the Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuge through the four seasons of the year. A fifth DVD will feature the powerful beauty of the Great Gray Owl. Guidelines for photographing birds and other wildlife will be presented along with the ethics of bird photography. Mel will discuss how to get the best photos and disturb the birds the least. Shannon Rio will co-host the event and discuss the field trip to the Klamath Basin area.

This talk will take place in a local home and wine, bubbly water, and light snacks will be available.


Two separate dates will be set aside, one in January and one in February to go to the Klamath Basin. This trip includes a three hour tour from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist. The guided trip starts at the Tule Lake Refuge Headquarters. The rest of the day will be exploring the Refuges auto route looking for birds and photo opportunities.

COST: $50 will cover the talk and the outing. To sign up, contact Shannon Rio at or call her at 541-840-4655.

Birding the Klamath Basin’s National Wildlife Refuges

October 11, Thursday 6:30-8:00pm at Ashland Outdoor Store

Presented by Shannon Rio, President of the Board of Klamath Bird Observatory

The stunning photography and dramatic history of the Birding the Klamath Basin’s National Wildlife Refuges presentation will take us to some of the most amazing wildlife refuges—all within the Klamath Basin right here in our southern Oregon and northern California backyard. One of these, the Lower Klamath, was the nation’s first National Wildlife Refuge, established by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1908 specifically for protection of migratory birds. The Klamath Basin refuges are recognized far and wide for sweeping vistas and spectacular birding.

This presentation is an invitation to visit the Refuges with public access and will include information on how to find them and what glory you might expect to see there. We will also discuss the Federal Duck Stamp’s role in protecting lands for wildlife and encourage the purchase of these stamps that support the Refuge. KBO Executive Director John Alexander will speak briefly on conservation, our wildlife refuges, and how we as individuals can make a difference on their behalf.

This presentation is free. The Outdoor Store is located at 37 North 3rd Street in Ashland, Oregon.

Shannon Rio is a wildlife educator who believes that when we connect with nature, we will naturally want to protect what we love: the birds and wild places.

Klamath Bird Observatory advances bird and habitat conservation through science, education, and partnerships.

Global Big Day – October 6!

Global Big Day—the massively international collaborative birding event—is October 6! The Global Big Day held in May the last four years has been such a success, another worldwide eBird Big Day in October makes perfect sense! Why October? Because spring is rejuvenating the southern hemisphere and the northern reaches of the world are in the midst of migration. No matter where you are, we’re confident you can find some great birds on October 6. Let’s see what we can find together on the first October Big Day!

Join eBird watchers all over the world for this single day of birding together. Information about participating in this eBird event and tips for finding more species are at the eBird Northwest website.

CLICK HERE for more information and to join the eBird Global Big Day October 6.

Year of the Bird in May – It’s a Global Big Day!

It’s May in the Year of the Bird and our call to action is Global Big Day! Saturday May 5th is the day people all over the world will be watching birds and putting them on the world map via eBird.

What to do: Look for birds and report what you find at in this exciting 24-hour quest to collectively record as many bird species as possible across the world.

How to do it: Watch birds on May 5th –any time from midnight to midnight in your local time zone. It’s that simple. You don’t need to be a bird expert, or go out all day long.
• Get an eBird account if you don’t already have one: eBird is a worldwide bird checklist program used by hundreds of thousands of birders. It’s what allows us to compile everyone’s sightings into a single massive Global Big Day list—while at the same time collecting the data for scientists to use to better understand birds. It’s free. Log your sightings on the eBird website or download the eBird app, for maximum ease-of-use.
• Watch the sightings roll in: During the day, keep an eye on how the lists are growing in different parts of the world. Follow along with sightings from more than 150 countries, including the Cornell Lab’s Team Sapsucker in Colombia, Honduras, and California. Stats will be updated in real-time on our Global Big Day page.

Pro Birder Tips for Big Day Success:
• Explore eBird Hotspots near you.
• Put your birding plans on the worldwide Global Big Day map.
• Get together with friends and set a goal for your birding—most unusual species? Biggest flock? All the species in your favorite family? The possibilities are endless.
• Take photos and add them to your checklist—they might end up on the Global Big Day page!

Why do it?
• Put your birds on the map! Your sightings become part of a global snapshot that helps track the numbers, health, and movements of birds for scientists and conservationists.
• It helps other birders: your data feeds migration forecasts, species checklists, and hotspot maps that are free for all.
• 20,000 bird watchers around the world will be on a 24-hour birding binge; count yourself in their ranks.
• In 2017, bird watchers recorded an incredible 65% of all the bird species on the planet. Can we set a new record?

CLICK HERE to learn more about Global Big Day and eBird.

And don’t miss World Migratory Bird Day! There are 1,200 events happening around the world in 200 cities on Saturday May 12, including two KBO is part of—Rogue Valley Bird Day and the Global Migratory Bird Day Birdwatching Field Trip in Shasta Valley Wildlife Area.

CLICK HERE to view the Rogue Valley Bird Day 2018 flyer.

CLICK HERE to view the Shasta Valley Birdwatching Field Trip 2018 flyer.

Of course the invaluable citizen science wonder that is eBird is bigger than Global Big Day—watch the birds any day and let your observations add to our body of knowledge, empowering bird conservation science through eBird. Every bird counts so count all your birds!


Announcing our always popular Malheur birding trip scheduled for June 2nd-5th, 2018!

This five-day and four-night eastern Oregon birding expedition will begin with birding from Ashland to Summer Lake, explore surrounding wildlife areas, and stay at the Summer Lake Lodge. On the second day we will arrive at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge—birding this special area the next three days with accommodations at Crystal Crane Hot Springs those three nights. Bring your swim suit as we will study the night sky from the warmth of the hot spring pool in the evenings (optional of course). One night we will have dinner at the famous Diamond Hotel. Dinners will include tallies of our birds for the day.

Some of the species we hope to see: Cinnamon Teal, Trumpeter Swan, White-faced Ibis, Sandhill Crane, Ferruginous and Swainson’s hawks, Bald and Golden eagles, nesting Long-billed Curlew, Wilson’s Phalarope and Wilson’s Snipe, Franklin’s Gull, Black Tern, Prairie Falcon, Great Horned and Barn owls, Common Nighthawk, Loggerhead Shrike, Eastern Kingbird, Gray Flycatcher, Say’s Phoebe, Black-billed Magpie, Rock and Canyon wrens, Sage Thrasher, Mountain Bluebird, Sagebrush and Brewer’s sparrows, and Yellow-headed Blackbird. We have seen as many as 142 species on this trip in the past.

Cost of the trip is $575 which includes modest accommodations, dinners, transportation (a small van will be available plus there will be room in vehicles), and the expert guiding of birding extraordinaire and bird guidebook author Harry Fuller. $300 of this will be a tax deductible contribution to the Klamath Bird Observatory so not only will you have a fantastic adventure in a very special part of the world, you’ll contribute to bird and habitat conservation efforts.

Participants will need to bring breakfast and lunches. Sign up by contacting Shannon Rio at or call her at 541-840-4655.


It is hard to say what I enjoyed more. Was it the photographs Mel Clements showed us depicting the seasons of the Klamath Basin accompanied to music at the evening talk? Was it being in the Butte Valley with master birding guide Frank Lospalluto pointing out the 10 or so Golden Eagles? Or was it later in the afternoon when outing participant Kirby took us to where the 5,000 Snow Geese and 1,000 Sandhill Cranes were grazing at the back of a large pond on the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge?

Our tribe of 15 bird lovers roamed the Klamath Basin and experienced the wonder of it all: sky, landscape, raptors, and waterfowl. It was in the sharing of the beauty that we felt a sweet connection not just to the land that we love so much but also to each other.

After going on this trip one participant wrote me this email: “Well I just have to say that for my first real birding outing WOW!! Amazing! I look forward to many more birding experiences and am so grateful to have been able to join y’all yesterday and for your patience with my rudimentary questions. Best day ever!!! Hahaha – I have to laugh … cuz actually best day ever was when my daughter was born 41 years ago … and Kirk was there then, too!!?” She shared this birding adventure with the doctor who delivered her daughter. How is that for coming full circle!


KBO’s Talk and Walk series occurs throughout the year giving folks a chance to have a beautifully crafted informative talk accompanied by an outing. The next Talk and Walk will be in February and will be on Hawks of the Klamath Basin led by raptor expert Dick Ashford. Information on that will be announced soon. Contact Shannon Rio for information about the Talk and Walk series.

Citizen Science Opportunity for Fall Migration

Looking for a new place to bird during fall migration? Klamath Bird Observatory and The Selberg Institute are continuing a yearlong citizen science project on the beautiful Sampson Creek Preserve just east of Ashland and, are looking for volunteers to help monitor during fall migration. This project offers something for all birders and outdoor enthusiasts.

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Malheur in the Fall!

KBO Birding Adventure and Fundraiser led by Harry Fuller

September 12, 13, 14, 2017 with a pre-trip slide show September 11th, Monday 6:30 – 8:00pm

Our first stop will be the Summer Lake Wildlife Area where we will spend our first night on the way to Malheur Field Station. The next two nights will be spent at the Field Station. Accommodations will be a shared room at Summer Lake Lodge, and at Malheur Field Station a dorm-like setting. Cost of the trip includes lodging, a dinner at the famous Diamond Hotel, two breakfasts at the field station and a light breakfast at Summer Lake, gas for the vehicles, either bird netting or some educational experience with Duncan Evered (co-director of Malheur Field Station), a tax deductible donation to KBO in the amount of $375, leadership of Harry Fuller as our bird guide expert, and the glorious exposure to the landscape of eastern Oregon.

Not included: You will need to bring your lunches, snack foods, liquids, and alcoholic beverages. The first night will be a communal potluck.

Cost of the trip is $565.00 which includes the tax deductible donation of $375. To sign up, contact Shannon Rio at or call her at 541-840-4655. She will confirm that your space is secured. Number of participants will be limited to 16 total for safety of travel and satisfaction at seeing the birds and sharing the experience.