Annual event celebrates birds of prey
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9
Explore Sauvie Island in search of magnificent bald eagles, hawks and falcons that spend the winter on the island. On this special day devoted to raptors, experienced naturalists and hawk experts host activities and answer questions at four locations around the island. Enjoy guided bird viewing, meet live raptors up close and sharpen hawk identification skills. Hot drinks and doughnuts are available in the morning. Have breakfast with the birds!
How does the road trip work?
Begin at Kruger's Farm Market and pick up an event map and raptor identification guide. The event fee is $10 per vehicle, cash only, and includes a Sauvie Island Wildlife Area parking permit, which is needed to park at the sites. To reach Kruger's, take Highway 30 to the Sauvie Island Bridge and go straight on Sauvie Island Road 1.5 miles (past Howell Territorial Park). Kruger's Farm Market is located on the right. Carpooling is encouraged. Three of the four event locations offer wheelchair access.
Spotting scopes help with raptor identification and are provided, with naturalists on hand to point out the birds. Field guides are available. Bring binoculars and dress for the weather. This event takes place rain or shine. The road trip is suitable for birders of all ages and skill levels, and families are welcome. While you don't have to be an early bird and get up at the crack of dawn to see these birds of prey, allow approximately three hours to visit all four locations.
What will you see?
It all depends on what nature has in store. Regularly sighted raptors include bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, American kestrels and Northern harriers. With a little luck, you might spot a rough-legged hawk, Cooper's hawk, merlin or peregrine falcon. Beautiful snow geese, sandhill cranes and great blue herons are commonly seen at this time of year, as well as abundant waterfowl.
Sponsored by Metro, Audubon Society of Portland, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and HawkWatch International. For more information, www.oregonmetro.gov/calendar.