Birding Without Barriers
One of the Best Birding Sites in the Area
No curbs. No hills. No dirt. No Excuses!
When to Come
Where to Look
Places to Go on the Grounds
East Entrance of Visitor Center
The berry producing shrubs, along with the ash and crab apple trees, make this one of the most active bird areas in the park. Depending on the time of year cedar waxwings, warblers, chickadees, robins, and woodpeckers can be found in these trees.
Path to Great Grave
The paved path from the Visitor Center to the Great Grave passes by tall grass. Rustling is often heard, along with the calls of pheasants and quail. Song sparrows may be seen sitting on the fence.
Great Grave and Pioneer Cemetery
Behind the Great Grave and Gray monument (pictured) is a grass covered clearing surrounded by trees. The variety of trees and bushes provide food and shelter for birds and insects. Where there are insects, there are usually birds. Look for birds in various levels of the foliage. Scanning with binoculars can be helpful.
Base of the Hill
Tall trees grow along the base of the hill. A variety of birds can be seen here. Owls have been known to roost in these trees, but it takes good eyes to spot them. The picture to the left shows the path at the base of the hill; the Gray memorial is in the distance.
The orchard is another habitat area. Owls like to roost in old apple trees. The orchard is also popular with deer and other animals, especially in the fall when the apples are ripe.
Note: There is a short, steep, grass covered slope to reach the edge of the Millpond.
Water is Life! Places with water will draw all kinds of animals. If you're next to the pond scan the edges to look for birds lurking in the vegetation or floating near the shoreline. Even if you can't hike up the berm, there are plenty of birds to see. Each Spring, red-winged blackbirds nest in the cattails that line the pond. Swifts and swallows skim over the top looking for insects. Red-tailed hawks sit in the large tree watching for their prey.
Did You Know?
The Whitmans’ mission was important to early Oregon Trail travelers. Those who were sick, tired, or hungry or who needed a wagon fixed would make the side trip to the mission. Some would spend the winter with the Whitmans before continuing on to the Willamette Valley.