What an exciting year.  Tours filled faster than we could keep up.

2016 online registation is now closed.

Tours take place Thursday evening through Sunday and depart from the Burns High School.

Tour Guides make every effort to provide a quality experience.

 

Pre-registration is REQUIRED for all tours. 

  • Please arrive early as tours depart at the scheduled time.
  • There may be long stretches between rest stops. 
  • Be sure to dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes that will keep your feet warm and dry.
  • Participants with limited mobility should contact the Harney County Chamber of Commerce prior to booking tours. 
  • Many of the tours travel to remote areas; we suggest that participants bring snacks or lunch, and water. 
  • Participants must be 10 years or older to participate in the tours unless otherwise noted in the description. 
  • Private vehicles are not allowed to follow tour vehicles.  

Self-Guided Tour Map (pdf)


Birding intensity of tours is as follows:
Basic – Basic bird watching skills, photo opportunities and learn about the area
Intermediate – Ability to sight and identify birds on your own is a plus
Advanced – Fast paced bird watching

 

Thursday Tours

Skill Level - Intermediate

New Tour - Steens Mountain Guest Ranch Trail Ride and Stay:Enjoy a leisurely 3 hour birding tour on horseback into the juniper and sagebrush on the western flank of Steens Mountain. You’ll have the opportunity to see a variety of birds associated with sagebrush and juniper ecotones. Potential birds include hawks, falcons, eagles, Western Meadowlark, loggerhead shrike, horned larks, and sage sparrow to name just a few. Your hosts have even come across greater sage grouse on spring trail rides in the area! There will be ample opportunities to set up scopes and cameras on this tour.

This ranch adventure begins with a hearty ranch dinner and an overnight stay in guest rooms at the ranch. You’ll be served a Cowboy breakfast the next day before departing for your 3 hour trail ride. Lunch will be served at the end of this birding adventure.

Accommodations for this tour are double occupancy only and the tour size is limited to 6 guests!

Tour participants provide their own transportation to the ranch located in Diamond, 55 miles south of Burns. Dinner begins at 6:00 pm so arrive by 5:00 pm to check in. Depart by 12:00 the following day.

Please check the Steens Mountain Guest Ranch web site for more information about their facilities and location before booking this tour.  http://www.oregonguestranch.com/what-to-expect.html

Thursday Night - Friday Trail Ride - $360 for double occupancy (two guests)

Friday Tours

Skill Level - Basic

eBird Workshop/TourNew to birding or visiting a new place and want to maximize bird watching opportunities? Join birder extraordinaire Merle Greenway for a short workshop to learn how to use eBird - a real-time, online checklist program that has revolutionized the way the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. eBird is a great way for beginning birders to narrow down the potential birds in a particular area. It is also a great way to discover the hot spots in a specific area to maximize your birding time. Finally, you’ll travel to some local hotspots to try out your newfound skills. Your approach to birding will never be quite the same! You can download eBird for your iPhone or Android phone before the workshop at eBird.

Friday – 9:00 to 12:00; 3 hours. Price $40

Llamas in Flight at the Double-O: Graced with plenty of water and marsh the Double-O Unit of Malheur Refuge is a popular landing zone. Habitat includes willow thickets, open water, tules, sedges and cattails, brush covered dunes and open fields. This slow paced tour will be accompanied by a local birder to add  expertise in identifying the more than thirty species we often see. These include pelicans, sandhill cranes, swallows, cinnamon teal, harriers, great horned owls, bold marsh wrens and even sora. This tour follows a level single-lane gravel track that is otherwise closed to the public. Hiking distance varies depending on the interests of the group, but generally is from three to five miles. This is a hands-on llama event. Each participant selects a llama to be their companion for the day and to carry whatever field gear the participant wishes to bring. Participants are encouraged to lead their llama and may participate in saddling if they choose. Except for the lunch location, the site is open and can be windy and cold. Suggested gear includes a hearty lunch, reference books and plenty of warm clothes. Camera gear, scopes and collapsible tripods can be accommodated, but should be well protected against possible jostling. Small folding chairs can also be packed along. Travel distance to the birding site is about forty miles and is a birding opportunity in its own right. Bring snacks, lunch and water.

Friday - 8:00 to 4:00, 8 hours. Price $80.  

Harney Basin Rock Art: Join local archaeologists for a rock art tour that focuses on the center of the basin and explore different types of rock art made in ancient times by the first people to live in southeastern Oregon.  Visit pictograph sites where the rocks were painted in different color pigments and have survived for millennia.  Petroglyph sites, where the designs were made by grinding or pecking the boulders with hammer stones, will be viewed as well.  The tour will be a loop from near Harney Lake to Diamond and then back to Burns through New Princeton and Crane.  There will be a short stop to visit the Round Barn Visitor Center and, if time permits, a brief look at the historic Peter French Round Barn.  Bring rain gear, wear sturdy shoes or boots, bring water and snacks and you will be back at Bird Central in time for afternoon activities.

Friday – 8:00 to 12:00, 4 hours. Price $60

Back By Popular Request - Hey What’s that Bird? (Birding for Beginners): New to bird watching, want to hone your novice birding skills or just interested in exploring bird watching as a hobby? Well we have the tour for you! Ducks Unlimited Biologist Chris Colson will guide you through bird identification, identifying suitable habitat for common bird species and offer insight into the world of bird watching.

Friday: 12:30 to 5:30; 5 hours. Price $50

Llamas and bird watchers walk down road on tour

Paradise Birding—Birding the Silvies Flood Plain: Join us for a half-day birding tour of the Silvies River flood plain, where the snowmelt from the Blue Mountain provides expansive waterbird habitat before it reaches Malheur Lake. This region is characterized by miles of privately owned grasslands and open pasture, with some sagebrush uplands scattered throughout. The start of irrigation season means these fields are filled with water which draws an abundance of waterbirds. We will search for more than eight species of raptors and up to 20 different waterfowl, including thousands of Snow and Ross's geese. We can also expect early arriving shorebirds and songbirds, plus large flocks of Sandhill Cranes. We offer patient and enthusiastic bird identification training. We will discuss natural history and habitat conservation for birds inhabiting the Harney Basin. Everyone gets a window seat on this tour for maximum viewing and comfort!

Friday - 12:00 to 5:00; 5 hours. Price $75

New Tour - Paradise Birding - Into the Heart of the Basin: Journey through the diverse habitats of the lower Harney Basin as you travel with the experts from Paradise Birding to a variety of viewing areas. You'll have the opportunity to experience amazing views of raptors, waterfowl, wading birds and other migrants while you travel from the Silvies Floodplain to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters on the south side of Malheur Lake. We offer patient and enthusiastic bird identification training. We will discuss natural history and habitat conservation for birds inhabiting the Harney Basin. Everyone gets a window seat on this tour for maximum viewing and comfort!

Friday - 12:00 to 5:00; 5 hours. Price $75

 

Skill Level – Intermediate

 

New Tour - Steens Mountain Guest Ranch Trail Ride and Stay:Enjoy a leisurely 3 hour birding tour on horseback into the juniper and sagebrush on the western flank of Steens Mountain. You’ll have the opportunity to see a variety of birds associated with sagebrush and juniper ecotones. Potential birds include hawks, falcons, eagles, Western Meadowlark, loggerhead shrike, horned larks, and sage sparrow to name just a few. Your hosts have even come across greater sagegrouse on spring trail rides in the area! There will be ample opportunities to set up scopes and cameras on this tour.

This ranch adventure begins with a hearty ranch dinner and an overnight stay in guest rooms at the ranch. You’ll be served a Cowboy breakfast the next day before departing for your 3 hour trail ride. Lunch will be served at the end of this birding adventure.

Accommodations for this tour are double occupancy only and the tour size is limited to 6 guests!

Tour participants provide their own transportation to the ranch located in Diamond, 55 miles south of Burns. Dinner begins at 6:00 pm so arrive by 5:00 pm to check in. Depart by 12:00 the following day.

Please check the Steens Mountain Guest Ranch website for more information about their facilities and location before booking this tour.  http://www.oregonguestranch.com/what-to-expect.html

Friday Night - Saturday Trail Ride - $360 for double occupancy (two guests)

cinnamon teal drakeBirding British Style: One of our most popular tours! Join Oxford-trained ornithologist Duncan Evered for an insightful 8-hour field trip where we will make our subject the bird--its behavior, ecology, migrations, digestion and, well, you get the picture. Not just the name of the bird! Having lived and worked at the Malheur Field Station for nearly two decades, this Brit offers a unique perspective on the local birds and a pythonesque take on "The Meaning of Birding." With a bit of luck, we'll learn that identifying birds need not be the end of the pursuit, but rather the beginning of a wonderfully fulfilling experience. Participants must at least pretend to like Elgar’s music and, after signing the liability waiver, everyone will sample Marmite done right. Come hone your observational skills while having a jolly good time! Bring binoculars, lunch and water, and the walk of your choice…

Friday - 8:00 to 4:00; 8 hours. Price $80

Birding the Hot Spots: If you’re new to the area or just want someone else to do the driving - this is the tour for you! Join local wildlife biologists for a personalized tour of Harney Basin birding hot spots. They will answer all of your birding questions and provide insight into the habitat needs of many of our spring migratory birds. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to quiz an expert and discover the best birding spots in the Basin.

Friday – 1:00 to 4:00; 3 hours; Price $40

Birds of Prey: Come soar with the eagles and search for raptors! View Bald Eagles exiting roosts, then drive along agriculture fields observing eagles and raptors hunting for prey. If weather and road conditions permit, the trip may extend into the Malheur National Forest to search for forest raptors. Bring snacks or lunch, and water.

Friday - 6:00 to 1:00, 7 hours; Price $80

White-faced ibis and snowy egret feeding in pondBack By Popular Request - Boca Lake Hiking: Enjoy a leisurely 5-mile birding hike to one of the hidden gems of Malheur Refuge! Candace Larson, field biologist with the Portland Audubon Society, will guide you through this beautiful sub-basin of the Blitzen Valley, exploring the wetlands and surrounding habitats of the 600-acre Boca Lake. We can expect an abundance of waterbirds and plenty of upland species as we walk the road that circumnavigates the lake. Note that this area is normally closed to the public. Be prepared to be out of the vehicle for up to 6 hours; waterproof footwear and outerwear are recommended. Bring water and a bag lunch.

Friday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm; 8 hours. Price $90

Skill Level – Advanced

 

Southern Harney County and the Alvord Desert: Spend the day with Tim Blount (harneyburder.com) exploring lakes and all that is between them on the east side of the Steens Mountain Escarpment. Tim will introduce you to the unique desert habitat of these seldom visited lakes and the surrounding area. You’ll see some of Oregon’s unique desert bird species while viewing waterfowl, a variety of birds and other wildlife. Over 90 species have been identified on this all-encompassing tour. Spotting scopes will be available or you can bring your own as you spend time at each of these lakes searching for wildlife. Bring snacks, drinks and lunch.

Friday - 6:00 to 5:00; 11 hours.  Price $100

New Tour  - The Big Day Challenge:  Ready for a challenge? This tour is for you! Two of Harney Basins’ foremost bird watchers, local biologists Rick Vetter and Howard Richburg, know the secret viewing areas to maximize the number of species you will see in just one day! The aim of this tour is to view more than 100 bird species.

The tour includes the majestic old growth ponderosa pines on the Malheur National Forest to wet meadows and ponds on Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Habitats to be visited include the ponderosa pine forest, western juniper stands, sagebrush steppe, agricultural fields, hot springs, wetlands, rim rock cliffs, sewage ponds, the Silvies and Blitzen River floodplains, Page Springs and backyard hot spots. 

Everyone gets a window seat on this tour with plenty of birding stops with short walks! This jam packed day of birding, also includes discussions on habitat management and threats to native birds.  Bring binoculars, snacks, drinks and lunch.  We supply high quality spotting scopes and can help you with, photography, digi-scoping and iPad birding apps.

Friday option – tour guides are willing to bird until dark for participants who want to continue beyond 5:00 pm.

Friday - 6:00 to 5:00; 11 hours. Fee: $110

 

SATURDAY TOURS

 

SKILL LEVEL - BASIC

 

New Tour - Birding Basics: If you’re seeing birds everywhere and wondering how to identify them  – this tour is for you. Join Biologist Gary Ivey as he guides you through bird identification in the field and offers insight into the world of bird watching. Bring water and snacks.

Saturday 8:00 to 11:00; 3 hours. Price $40

Back By Popular Request - Catlow Valley Sage-Grouse Tour: This tour is weather dependent. If sage-grouse are not present at the lek in early April this tour may be canceled. Refunds will be issued if the tour cancels. This tour is a unique opportunity to learn about sage-grouse in Harney County.  Your tour begins with a Fridasage-grouse pair on a harney county leky night stay at the Drovers Inn  in Frenchglen and a 6:30 pm family style dinner at the historic Frenchglen Hotel.  The tour will depart Saturday morning at 4:00 am from the Inn and will travel 1 ½ hours to a sage-grouse lek on the Ranch. A box breakfast will be provided for the drive to the lek. Tour participants will have 2 hours out of the vehicle to set up spotting scopes and camera tripods. Over 20 male sage-grouse will be “strutting” at the lek. This is an amazing opportunity to see and hear these unique birds in their natural setting.

Roaring Springs Ranch Biologist Andrew Shields will guide you on the tour and will share the results of sage-grouse research being conducted to learn more about these unique birds on the ranch. Roaring Springs Ranch in the Catlow Valley is part of the Harney County Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances; under the agreement landowners voluntarily agree to manage their lands to remove or reduce threats to sage-grouse. In return, landowners receive assurances against additional regulatory requirements should that species ever be listed under the Endangered Species Act.

The tour concludes at 10:00 am back at the Inn with plenty of time to join an afternoon tour or for bird watching in the Blitzen Valley on Malheur Refuge.

Tour participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from Frenchglen (60 miles south of Burns) for this tour. Tour fee includes overnight accommodations, dinner, breakfast and a portion of the fee will be donated to support ongoing sage-grouse research at the ranch.

Friday 6:30 pm to 10:00 am Saturday; 6 hours.  Price $210

Harney County Cattlewomen’s Working Ranch:  Travel to a working cattle ranch with members of the Harney County Cattlewomen as your hosts.  You will be introduced to the ranch owners -- multi-generation, family ranchers.  They will explain ranch management techniques that are sustainable and support wildlife, especially migratory birds, in the Harney Basin.  Local range scientists from the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center will provide a presentation on the work they are conducting and the benefits it provides to wildlife. CofPrice, water and cookies are provided at the ranch.

A beef tri-tip lunch (BBQ tri-tip, salad, cowboy beans, bread and beverage) is put on by the HC Cattlewomen at the EOARC and is included with the tour.

Saturday -- 7:30 to 2:30; 7 hours. Price $35

Llamas in Flight at the Double-O: Graced with plenty of water and marsh the Double-O Unit of Malheur Refuge is a popular landing zone. Habitat includes willow thickets, open water, tules, sedges and cattails, brush covered dunes and open fields. This slow paced tour will be accompanied by a local birder to add  expertise in identifying the more than thirty species we often see. These include pelicans, sandhill cranes, swallows, cinnamon teal, harriers, great horned owls, bold marsh wrens and even sora. This tour follows a level single-lane gravel track that is otherwise closed to the public. Hiking distance varies depending on the interests of the group, but generally is from three to five miles. This is a hands-on llama event. Each participant selects a llama to be their companion for the day and to carry whatever field gear the participant wishes to bring. Participants are encouraged to lead their llama and may participate in saddling if they choose. Except for the lunch location, the site is open and can be windy and cold. Suggested gear includes a hearty lunch, reference books and plenty of warm clothes. Camera gear, scopes and collapsible tripods can be accommodated, but should be well protected against possible jostling. Small folding chairs can also be packed along. Travel distance to the birding site is about forty miles and is a birding opportunity in its own right. Bring snacks, lunch and water.

Saturday - 8:00 to 4:00, 8 hours. Price $80

Paradise Birding—Birding the Silvies Flood Plain: Join us for a half-day birding tour of the Silvies River flood plain, where the snowmelt from the Blue Mountains provides expansive waterbird habitat before it reaches Malheur Lake. This region is characterized by miles of privately owned grasslands and open pasture, with some sagebrush uplands scattered throughout. The start of irrigation season means these fields are filled with water which draws an abundance of waterbirds. We will search for more than eight species of raptors and up to 20 different waterfowl, including thousands of Snow and Ross's geese. We can also expect early arriving shorebirds and songbirds, plus large flocks of Sandhill Cranes. We offer patient and enthusiastic bird identification training. We will discuss natural history and habitat conservation for birds inhabiting the Harney Basin. Everyone gets a window seat on this tour for maximum viewing and comfort!

Saturday - 7:00 to 12:00 & 12:30 to 5:00 ; 5 hours. Price $75

New Tour - Paradise Birding - Into the Heart of the Basin: Journey through the diverse habitats of the lower Harney Basin as you travel with the experts from Paradise Birding to a variety of viewing areas. You'll have the opportunity to experience amazing views of raptors, waterfowl, wading birds and other migrants while you travel from the Silvies Floodplain to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters on the south side of Malheur Lake. We offer patient and enthusiastic bird identification training. We will discuss natural history and habitat conservation for birds inhabiting the Harney Basin. Everyone gets a window seat on this tour for maximum viewing and comfort!

Saturday - 7:00 to 12:00 & 12:30 to 5:00 ; 5 hours. Price $75

flying sandhill crane Sandhill Crane Discovery: Discover the world of Sandhill Cranes with crane biologist Dr. Gary Ivey of the International    Crane Foundation. This tour will focus on finding sandhill cranes and learning about their biology and their  migration.  Gary is a Research Associate at the Foundation and works on research, monitoring, environmental  education, and  habitat conservation projects for the sake of crane conservation. For more information about  cranes around the world  visit www.savingcranes.org  Bring water and snacks.

Saturday - 2:00 to 4:00, 2 hours. Price $30

 

Skill Level – Intermediate

 

New Tour – Restoration Birding: Huh? What’s this tour about?  Go bird watching with Ducks Unlimited Biologist Chris Colson and Brenda Smith, Executive Director of the High Desert Partnership/Harney Basin Wetland Initiative, while you gain a better understanding about the role of the Harney Basin in the Pacific Flyway and the wetland/floodplain restoration efforts in the Harney Basin aimed at improving habitat for migratory birds. This tour will travel through the Silvies River Floodplain, stop at the Narrows on Malheur Lake, travel to Sodhouse Dam on the Blitzen River, visit the colonial nesting great blue heron and winter roosting bald eagles at the historic Sod House Ranch and will include a short drive into the Blitzen Valley.

The Harney Basin Wetland Initiative is a cooperative relationship between conservation partners, local ranching families and Malheur Refuge – all working to build an understanding of how to manage the flood irrigated wet meadows in the Harney Basin in a manner that reduces carp reintroduction, provides food for migrating water birds, and provides a sustainable economic return for ranching families.  The Harney Basin is a critical stop on the Pacific Flyway and these cooperative efforts will ensure that it remains a healthy stopover for decades to come.

This tour will stop at the Narrows Café at lunch time where there will be ample time for you to purchase lunch, snacks or a delicious milkshake. Bring snacks and water.

Saturday, 8:00 to 3:00; 7 hours. Price $70

Birding British StyleOne of our most popular tours! Join Oxford-trained ornithologist Duncan Evered for an insightful 8-hour field trip where we will make our subject the bird--its behavior, ecology, migrations, digestion and, well, you get the picture. Not just the name of the bird! Having lived and worked at the Malheur Field Station for nearly two decades, this Brit offers a unique perspective on the local birds and a pythonesque take on "The Meaning of Birding." With a bit of luck, we'll learn that identifying birds need not be the end of the pursuit, but rather the beginning of a wonderfully fulfilling experience. Participants must at least pretend to like Elgar’s music and, after signing the liability waiver, everyone will sample Marmite done right. Come hone your observational skills while having a jolly good time! Bring binoculars, lunch and water, and the walk of your choice…

Saturday - 8:00 to 4:00; 8 hours. Price $80

Birding the Hot Spots If you’re new to the area or just want someone else to do the driving - this is the tour for you! Join local wildlife biologists for a personalized tour of Harney Basin birding hot spots. They will answer all of your birding questions and provide insight into the habitat needs of many of our spring migratory birds. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to quiz an expert and discover the best birding spots in the Basin.

Saturday – 9:00 to 12:00; 3 hours; Price $40

Back By Popular Request - Journey Behind the Gates:Join a local biologist for a day full of bird watching in the Blitzen Valley on Malheur Refuge. You’ll journey into areas closed to public access to see a wide variety of bird species, visit Boca Lake one of the most productive wetlands on the refuge and visit the heron and cormorant rookery at the historic Sod House Ranch. Check out the 2015 bird list for this tour - 60 species were observed and four of these species were not viewed on any other tour!

Saturday: 6:00 to 3:00; 9 hours. Price $100

White geese feeding in a grazed field

 

Skill Level – Advanced

 

Southern Harney County and the Alvord Desert: Spend the day with Tim Blount (www.harneybirder.com) exploring lakes and all that is between them on the east side of the Steens Mountain Escarpment. Tim will introduce you to the unique desert habitat of these seldom visited lakes and the surrounding area. You’ll see some of Oregon’s unique desert bird species while viewing waterfowl, a variety of birds and other wildlife. Over 90 species have been identified on this all-encompassing tour. Spotting scopes will be available or you can bring your own as you spend time at each of these lakes searching for wildlife. Bring snacks, drinks and lunch.

Saturday - 6:00 to 5:00; 11 hours.  Price $100

New Tour - The Big Day Challenge:  Ready for a challenge? This tour is for you! Two of Harney Basins’ foremost bird watchers, local biologists Rick Vetter and Howard Richburg, know the secret viewing areas to maximize the number of species you will see in just one day! The aim of this tour is to view more than 100 bird species.

The tour includes the majestic old growth ponderosa pines on the Malheur National Forest to wet meadows and ponds on Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Habitats to be visited include the ponderosa pine forest, western juniper stands, sagebrush steppe, agricultural fields, hot springs, wetlands, rim rock cliffs, sewage ponds, the Silvies and Blitzen River floodplains, Page Springs and backyard hot spots. 

Everyone gets a window seat on this tour with plenty of birding stops with short walks! This jam packed day of birding, also includes discussions on habitat management and threats to native birds.  Bring binoculars, snacks, drinks and lunch.  We supply high quality spotting scopes and can help you with, photography, digi-scoping and iPad birding apps.

Saturday - 6:00 to 4:00; 10 hours. Fee: $100  

SUNDAY TOURS

 

SKILL LEVEL - BASIC

Llama ranch tour participants meet a baby llama

Llama Ranching Amid the Flocks: Our Mama Llama ranch is located in the flat meadowland just three miles north of Burns. Canada geese neston the slough. Snow geese by the thousands gather on the hay field. Curlews, ibises and cranes grace the fields nearby. It’s a wonderful place to mix llamas and birds. This three hour tour focuses on the llamas. It is our opportunity to present you with a complete background on the care, history, breeding and uses of these fascinating animals. Collectively we have nearly sixty years of experience that covers all manner of llama activities, ranging from leading a 4H club, to training llamas to pull carts or take lengthy wilderness pack trips. This ranch visit is also a hands-on experience. You will have the opportunity to practice grooming and training techniques with a llama in hand. If you wish and as time permits, we will take a short hike through the fields. The three-hour tour provides an excellent opportunity to answer your questions at length.

Sunday - 9:00 to 12:00; 3 hours. Price $30.

Paradise Birding—Birding the Silvies Flood Plain: Join us for a half-day birding tour of the Silvies River flood plain, where the snowmelt from the Blue Mountains provides expansive waterbird habitat before it reaches Malheur Lake. This region is characterized by miles of privately owned grasslands and open pasture, with some sagebrush uplands scattered throughout. The start of irrigation season means these fields are filled with water which draws an abundance of waterbirds. We will search for more than eight species of raptors and up to 20 different waterfowl, including thousands of Snow and Ross's geese. We can also expect early arriving shorebirds and songbirds, plus large flocks of Sandhill Cranes. We offer patient and enthusiastic bird identification training. We will discuss natural history and habitat conservation for birds inhabiting the Harney Basin. Everyone gets a window seat on this tour for maximum viewing and comfort!

Sunday - 7:00 to 12:00; 5 hours. Price $75

New Tour - Paradise Birding - Into the Heart of the Basin: Journey through the diverse habitats of the lower Harney Basin as you travel with the experts from Paradise Birding to a variety of viewing areas. You'll have the opportunity to experience amazing views of raptors, waterfowl, wading birds and other migrants while you travel from the Silvies Floodplain to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters on the south side of Malheur Lake. We offer patient and enthusiastic bird identification training. We will discuss natural history and habitat conservation for birds inhabiting the Harney Basin. Everyone gets a window seat on this tour for maximum viewing and comfort!

Sunday - 7:00 to 12:00; 5 hours. Price $75

Pair of sandhill cranes in a field Sandhill Crane Discovery: Discover the world of Sandhill Cranes with crane biologist Dr. Gary Ivey of the International Crane  Foundation. This tour will focus on finding sandhill cranes and learning about their biology and their migration. Gary is a  Research Associate at the Foundation and works on research, monitoring, environmental education, and habitat  conservation projects for the sake of crane conservation. For more information about cranes around the world  visit www.savingcranes.org  Bring water and snacks.

Sunday – 8:00 to 10:00, 2 hours, Price $30

 

 

Skill Level – Intermediate

Birding British Style: One of our most popular tours! Join Oxford-trained ornithologist Duncan Evered for an insightful 8-hour field trip where we will make our subject the bird--its behavior, ecology, migrations, digestion and, well, you get the picture. Not just the name of the bird! Having lived and worked at the Malheur Field Station for nearly two decades, this Brit offers a unique perspective on the local birds and a pythonesque take on "The Meaning of Birding." With a bit of luck, we'll learn that identifying birds need not be the end of the pursuit, but rather the beginning of a wonderfully fulfilling experience. Participants must at least pretend to like Elgar’s music and, after signing the liability waiver, everyone will sample Marmite done right. Come hone your observational skills while having a jolly good time! Bring binoculars, lunch and water, and the walk of your choice…

Sunday - 8:00 to 4:00; 8 hours. Price $80

Willows, Cattails and Meadows - Oh My: Ever wonder why birds use some areas more than others? What entices birds to rest and nest at different locations? Ducks Unlimited Field Biologist and expert bird watcher Chris Colson specializes in restoring habitat for birds in the Pacific Northwest. You will learn how to detect the best habitat viewing locations for your favorite birds; understand which plants birds prefer during various seasons of the year; and gain insight into the life-cycle of many birds using the Harney Basin. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to bird watch with an expert! Bring water, snacks and lunch.

Sunday - 7:00 to 12:00; 5 Hours. Price $60

Birding the Hot Spots:  If you’re new to the area or just want someone else to do the driving - this is the tour for you! Join local wildlife biologists for a personalized tour of Harney Basin birding hot spots. They will answer all of your birding questions and provide insight into the habitat needs of many of our spring migratory birds. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to quiz an expert and discover the best birding spots in the Basin.

Sunday – 8:00 to 11:00; 3 hours; Price $40

Birds of Prey: Come soar with the eagles and search for raptors! View Bald Eagles exiting roosts, then drive along agriculture fields observing eagles and raptors hunting for prey. If weather and road conditions permit, the trip may extend into the Malheur National Forest to search for forest raptors. Bring snacks or lunch, and water.

Sunday - 6:00 to 1:00, 7 hours; Price $80

Hike the Wild Double-O: Unique unto itself, the “Wilds” of the Double-O unit at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are a blend of playas, dunes, meadows, lakes and ponds. Join a local biologist on this adventurous hike to the Stinking Lake Research Natural Area. This 2.5 mile hike will include off-trail hiking over uneven ground. Be the first to explore where natural features are preserved for scientific purposes and natural processes are allowed to dominate. Hiking boots are a must. If weather does not allow a hiking trip, the tour will migrate to a driving tour. Bring water, snacks and lunch.

Sunday – 8:00 to 2:00; 6 hours. Price $70