Category Archives: state parks

2017 Eagle Watch set for Feb. 25-26


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See golden eagles, bald eagles and other raptors at Eagle Watch.

The 22nd annual Eagle Watch celebration is set for  Feb. 25-26 at Round Butte Overlook Park. The celebration honors eagles and other raptors that live in the Lake Billy Chinook area and activities explore the natural and cultural significance of the birds to tribal culture and traditions.

The two-day celebration hosted by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), Portland General Electric (PGE), Crooked River Grasslands, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS) features resident bald eagles and golden eagles. The event runs 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26. Festivities will be in “Eagle Village” at Round Butte Overlook Park’s visitor center, 10 miles west of Madras.

Event attendees can meet Aquila, a rehabilitated golden eagle, as well as a great horned owl that lives at the Sunriver Nature Center. Saturday at noon, children can meet JR Beaver, Smokey Bear and Larry the Lightbulb. Children are also invited to take part in our eagle race (on Saturday) or make a bird feeder (on Sunday). Madras Garden Center will show how to create a backyard refuge to enjoy birdwatching year-round at your own home.

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Wild eagle viewing will take place each day at Round Butte Overlook Park and two overlooks on Mountain View Road.

Wildlife biologists have recorded eleven bald eagle pairs and nine golden eagle pairs living in the area year-round, and migrant bald eagles join the resident birds from January through March. For those who want more, on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. attendees can go to Smith Rock State Park for an hour-long guided tour with Oregon Eagle Foundation volunteer David Vick.

The Quartz Creek Drummers and Dancers will give a special presentation of tribal drumming and dancing sponsored by Warm Springs Power and Water Enterprises at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission and parking at PGE’s Round Butte Overlook Park are free. Attendees can buy souvenirs and take part in a daily silent auction, with proceeds benefiting the Oregon Eagle Foundation. Indian Fry bread proceeds will support sending local kids to the rodeo, and donations for lunch support Culver Middle School’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program. Only cash and checks will be accepted; no ATM is on site.

For information, call Oregon State Parks Information at 800-551-6949 or The Cove Palisades State Park at 541-546-3412 or visit oregonstateparks.org. Information will also be posted on the Cove Palisades blog, The Cove Rattler, at covepalisades.wordpress.com and on Facebook.

Join us for a First Day Hike Jan. 1


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Hike and watch for whales on Jan. 1

We’re headed outside on New Year’s Day for First Day Hikes in 21 Oregon State Parks. Park rangers or volunteers will lead most of the hikes. Day-use parking fees are waived for all visitors at participating parks Jan. 1 only.

Plan for any type of weather condition and remember to bring your binoculars for wildlife viewing.

Participating parks and meeting areas:

PORTLAND AREA

COLUMBIA GORGE

WILLAMETTE VALLEY/CASCADES

SOUTHERN OREGON

COAST

EASTERN/CENTRAL OREGON

Gray whales are on the move during Dec. 27-31 Whale Watch Week


Watching for gray whales at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint.

Watching for gray whales at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint.

If you’re headed to the Oregon coast next week, watch for migrating whales with trained volunteers during the annual winter Whale Watching Week from Dec. 27-31. Volunteers with the Whale Watching Spoken Here program will be stationed at 24 sites from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on those days to help people spot gray whales that are heading south to Mexico.

“We’ve already seen the first migrating gray whales in the past few days and we expect another excellent winter whale watching week.  Last winter our volunteers helped people see more than 1,600 gray whales plus a pod of orcas and some humpback whales spotted on the central coast. You never know what you’re going to see while you’re whale watching, but that’s half the fun.” Ranger Luke Parsons, Whale Watching Center

Volunteers will also share information about whale migration and feeding habits. The winter migration typically lasts until mid-January. A map of the watch sites is available at whalespoken.org.

Camping, including yurts and cabins, is available at state parks along the coast. Go to oregonstateparks.org to check availability and make a reservation.

OPRD reminds visitors to check www.oregonstateparks.org and www.tripcheck.com for weather-related alerts and closures before heading to the coast. Be aware of winter storms and high waves—respect closures, stay off the sand and watch storms from an elevated site.