The Infamous Native Birds Of Oregon – A Birdwatchers Identification Guide

Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Guillermina

The Native Birds of Oregon are plenty as they can often be seen scaling the skies in large flocks. Some of these species routinely breed, while a smaller percentage regularly migrate or spend the winter tucked away. The rest of the lot are hardly ever seen in the state. You may be surprised to know that there are also about eight imported species in this region.

The expertise of the observers, as well as viewpoints regarding what qualifies as an officially recognized subspecies, can all affect bird counts. Oregon ranks fifth in the United States for the richness of bird species. This means that the state is trailing behind Florida, New Mexico, Texas, and California, despite the fact that northern climates normally do not support as many as southern ones.

This level of richness is due to Oregon’s many unique ecoregions and its generally mild winters. It makes it a crucially important wintering ground for migratory bird species. If you like bird watching then this is the most incredible place to do so. The reason for this is that it has a variety of habitats and landscapes to accommodate them. Discover more about Oregon’s bird populations, from shorebirds to desert species, in the information below.

Backyard Birds Of Oregon

Considering Oregon is home to a sizable bird population, attracting the varieties to your backyard feeder is very likely. This is because there are over 500 different types that have been positively identified as inhabitants of this area.

 backyard birds of oregon

As you might imagine, it was impossible to cover all of these birds in this article. So, I made an effort to concentrate on the native birds of Oregon that are most frequently seen in the backyards of several houses around this State.

These are some of the most common backyard birds in Oregon:

The Glorious American Robin
The Melodious Song Sparrow
The High Flying American Crow
The Attractive Northern Flicker
The Noticeable Black-capped Chickadee
The Spotted Towhee
The Famous European Starling
The Infamous House Finch
The Red-winged Blackbird
The Red-breasted Nuthatch
The White-crowned Sparrow
The Gorgeous American Goldfinch
The Yellow-rumped Warbler
The Golden-crowned Sparrow

The majority of backyard birds in Oregon that might visit your bird feeders are those listed above. They are species that are most often listed on state checklists that bird watchers have uploaded. You may probably even see some ducks in Oregon during your birdwatching adventure.

 birds of central oregon

Birds of Central Oregon

Oregon is a birdwatcher’s paradise! This adventure is one of the fastest-growing recreational activities in the United States. With over five hundred species and nine well-known birding routes, seasonal migrations have put us on the map for feathered friends.

In the wooded areas of Central Oregon, you will see northern flickers in abundance. There are also a lot of smaller birds which include larks, tanagers, swallows, jays, crows, chickadees, dippers, nuthatches, wrens, thrushes, and grosbeaks amongst others. So, prepare your binoculars to see the beautiful native birds of Oregon all year round.

Here are a few common birds you might see in central Oregon:

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Black-headed Grosbeak
Western Wood-Pewee
Barn Swallow
Swainson’s Thrush
Violet-green Swallow
Cedar Waxwing
Western Tanager

The American Robin is the most prevalent bird in Oregon and is regularly sighted as about 40% of bird-watching lists mention them. The Western Meadowlark is Oregon’s recognized state bird and is often sighted throughout the year.

 native birds of Oregon

Oregon Bird Identification

Shape, size, color, distinctive field marks, wing bars, white outer tail feathers, eye lines, behavior, habitat, voice, and location are the main factors in identifying any of the native birds of Oregon. You can narrow your attention to the ones most likely to inhabit a specific environment before you even go birdwatching.

However, make sure that you always check the distribution map in your field guide when identifying something new because these will quickly rule out species that are not local to your area. Additionally, they will describe the habitat preferences of the possible bird.

Here are a few species to look out for:

Cormorants and Pelicans

American white and brown pelicans are two of the three cormorant species found in Oregon. They are all aquatic fish-eating birds with four webbed toes. You will find them along the coast, in rivers, or in interior waterbodies in the state. However, this would also depend on the species that has claimed that territory.

Ground Dwellers

Ground-dwelling, chicken-like upland game birds include pheasants, grouse, quail, and turkey. The largest upland game bird in Oregon is the wild turkey.

 oregon bird identification


From the tiny hawk to the bald eagle, Oregon is home to a wide range of raptors. Many of these birds reside there year-round and can be spotted hunting around rivers, wayside posts, and fields. Some of the raptors also migrate through this area.

Coots, Cranes, and Rails

In marshy places, rails, coots, and cranes can be seen consuming vegetation and small animals. One crane and two coot rail species can be found in Oregon.

Notable Features:

Coloring and field markings: Birds can be easily identified by their color and distinctive markings. While some may have brick-red breasts, others pose both bright and dull-colored backs, heads, and tails that help tell them apart.

Shape and size: This is an important feature to recognize as you can sometimes confuse one species with another because they appear to look so much alike. For instance, the house finch and house sparrow can be easily mistaken if you don’t know that they vary in weight, length, and size.

 oregon bird list

Behavior: While some bird species spend their time sitting calmly others may not. Some species also steer clear from woody regions as they prefer open plains and grasslands as their habitat. Also, you would notice that some species are very territorial and have a knack for claiming their area.

Voice: Have you ever listened to songbirds before? If so, I am sure you would have noticed that some of them have soft and sweet voices while others seem like they’re ranting. This is another clear way to tell the different species apart.

Small Birds in Oregon

If you have to look at the Oregon bird list, you will find that a lot of smaller-sized ones are a part of it. Amongst them are shorebirds which are a diverse species that reside near waterbodies throughout Oregon, from the desert to the ocean. Because of their small to medium size bodies, long legs, and thin beaks, they are easily recognized.

However, the identification of certain species is aided by location, habitat utilization, bill form, and body proportions. It’s also common to see doves and pigeons walking and bobbing their heads. While band-tailed pigeons and mourning doves are native birds of Oregon, rock pigeons and Eurasian collared doves hail from Europe.

The majority of Oregon’s owls are nocturnal hunters who prowl the night for insects, fish, frogs, birds, mice, and other small mammals. You can hear their hoots, screeches, and calls in the early morning or after dark. The Western Burrowing Owl builds its underground nest in prairie dogs, badgers, and squirrels’ abandoned burrows.

Additionally, hummingbirds are a well-liked type of garden bird and are often seen at feeders around Oregon. They are essential pollinators since they eat flower nectar and are frequently covered in pollen. If you want to do some bird-watching on the Oregon coast, here’s a great video. 


Over the past century, the avifauna of Oregon has undergone numerous changes. Several species have had their ranges grow, while many others have seen their populations decline. This is frequently a result of habitat loss and other factors, rendering them more vulnerable to extinction.

Oregon has seen some significant difficulties in safeguarding endangered and threatened avian species while being a significant U.S. location for bird diversity. Even many widespread species, including their state bird, the western meadowlark, have experienced declines as a result of hunting, habitat loss, and other factors.

These include not only prominent, threatened species like the northern spotted owl and snowy plover, but also many common varieties. However, the biodiversity offered is perfect for supporting the vast birdlife that this region has to offer. Native birds of Oregon enjoy this habitat and therefore play an important and vital role in the ecosystem. Click on the link for an informative handbook of Oregon birds.