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Downy Woodpecker

Volunteers are welcome for the Oakridge Christmas Bird Count, scheduled for Tuesday, December 28 th!

This count surveys a 15-mile diameter circle roughly centered on the town of Oakridge. It includes the nearby town of Westfir, most of Hills Creek Reservoir, the upper end of Lookout Point Reservoir, High Prairie. Vast areas of Willamette National Forest inside the circle provide almost unlimited possibilities for hiking – or snowshoeing/skiing at higher elevations where there can often be snow.

This count mainly features forest birds such as grouse, mountain quail, owls, accipiters, woodpeckers, jays, dippers, nuthatches, chickadees, kinglets, crossbills, and siskins. Loons, grebes, and waterfowl can turn up on the reservoirs as well as ponds around town. There are a few areas of more open habitat where we have a chance of finding other species.

This count will follow state and Audubon recommendations for covid-19 safety. Briefly this means no carpooling except for members of a single household or social “pod,” and wearing masks in indoor settings except while dining. The Audubon guidelines also call for mask outdoors in situations where social distancing isn’t possible, but such situations rarely arise on this count, where on average we typically have only about one volunteer per 10 square miles.

Vaccination is not required but is strongly recommended as a sensible precaution to lower risks for all participants, as well as local residents with whom you might come into contact with if they’re curious about the count.

Our morning meeting is tentatively planned for Lion Mountain Bakery, which has ample room for volunteers to spread out, and in past years has offered breakfasts and box lunches for volunteers. Please check with the compiler, Joel Geier (joel.geier@peak.org or call 541-745-5821) for more details and updates as we get closer to the date.