Nestled amid the diverse environment of stark mountain peaks, dense forests, ancient volcanoes, and flowing rivers, Sunriver is home to a wide variety of birds—a birder’s paradise. Below, we’ve put together a few tips that you should know before you go birding in Sunriver. Read on to learn more!
See the Wild Birds of Sunriver
Start your birding in Sunriver journey at the Sunriver Nature Center, which offers visiting birders a chance to experience a range of habitats in a small area, from a riparian area and a small lake to a wetland, a wet meadow, and a dry meadow encompassed by a mixture of conifer and pine. The trails are easy to navigate and traverse, leading you to various species of Sunriver bird depending on which habitat you visit.
The riparian and water-adjacent habitats are known for migrating flycatchers, swallows, and warblers. The marsh areas house species of Sunriver bird such as Red-shouldered Hawk, Green Heron (on rare occasions), Great Gray Owl, Marsh Wren, and rails during their nesting season. Other species that make appearances here include woodpeckers, Great Horned Owls, Mountain Chickadees, Red-winged Blackbirds, Northern Harriers, finches and sparrows during the winter, and Red-tailed Hawks.
Another great birding location is the trail from Dillon Falls to Benham Falls in Deschutes National Forest. Located a short drive north from Sunriver along the Deschutes River, this trail features habitats of pine forest, meadows, and riparian areas. Here, you can catch a glimpse of migrating songbirds, American Dipper, nuthatches, Belted Kingfisher, Stellar’s Jay, nesting Western Tanager, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Dusky Flyctacher, Osprey, and Clark’s Nutcracker. This location has the added benefit of an easy three and a half-mile trail and gorgeous views.
Finally, the High Desert Museum is also a wonderful place for birding in Sunriver. Its paved outdoor trails extend through woods of ponderosa pine and play hose to species like Pygmy Nuthatch, Hite-headed Woodpecker, and Mountain Chickadee with its minute ponds and coursing trout stream. And if you can’t find all of the birds you would like to during your excursion on the museum’s trail, you can always visit the live birds inside of the museum and attend one of the daily interpretive talks given on the museum’s resident raptor species.