April Birding Basics: Field Experience

Saturday April 1, 2023

Attention novice birders, birders new to Central Oregon, and those who want a refresher course! ECAS is offering a series of free field experiences designed just for you. Each month, January through June, there will be spots for 20 people to learn about a variety of Central Oregon birds, birding locations, skills, and resources.
Details for the April 21st Birding Basics: Field Experience:
Topic: Identifying spring song birds and waterfowl and using technology to record the birds we see
Location: Crooked River Wetlands Complex, Prineville
Meeting spot: Crooked River Wetlands parking lot at 4035 NW Rimrock Acres Loop, Prineville (44.316021, 120.898322)
Group Leader: Chuck Gates
Date/Time: April 21. 8:00-10:00 a.m. Meet at 7:45 a.m.
Focus: We will begin by discussing the importance of sewage treatment systems as stopovers for migrating waterfowl. Then we will introduce you to a citizen science project called eBird which will allow you to build your own day list of birds you see. Finally, we will identify approximately 50 species of birds and point out the field marks necessary to identify them.
Skill emphasis: We will be working on estimating numbers and entering data into eBird (an online birding database). If you have a smart phone, please download the free eBird app from your platform app store. Before you come, take a few minutes to register the app and set up an account with a password. The instructor will show you how to use it. If you don’t have a smart phone or don’t want to learn eBird, there will be plenty of instruction on using field marks to identify birds. Throughout the class, we will work on spotting field marks, using optics, and identifying sounds.
What to Expect: We will go on a 2 mile hike that will take approximately 2 hours. The trail is nearly flat. The weather can be erratic that time of year so dress in layers. We will have a chase vehicle to carry extra gear.
Bring: Smart phone with eBird registered and installed. Bring optics (we have loaner binoculars), camera if you have one, lots of layers of clothing, and water (and perhaps paper and pen for notes).
Who should sign up?  All ages are welcome. There is a limit of 20 participants. ECAS members and non-members are welcome. Please leave your dog at home. Sign up here starting April 1 which will take you to Member Planet: www.memberplanet.com/events/eastcascadesaudubonsociety/birdingbasicsfieldexperiencescrookedriverwetlands_1
If you have questions, e-mail Gordon Wetzel gordonwetzel@gmail.com or Lynda Paznokas Lpaz@bendnet.com. Please cancel your reservation if you are unable to attend.
Descriptions of future Field Experiences with tentative dates:
  • January: Drake Park, Water Birds of Mirror Pond and Field Optics, led by Gordon Wetzel (postponed till February 5)
  • February 25: Hatfield Ponds, Exploring Hatfield Ponds and using Merlin Bird ID app, led by Gordon Wetzel
  • March 9: Old Mill, bird Identification at the Old Mill District, led by Diane Burgess
  • April 21: Crooked River Wetlands Complex, Prineville, Identifying Spring Song Birds and Waterfowl and Using Technology to Record the Birds We See, led by Chuck Gates
  • May 21:  Sawyer Park, Identifying Songbirds and Waterfowl by Sight and Sound, led by Aaron Jenkins
  • June 8: Shevlin Park, Woodpeckers and Other Birds of the Varied Shevlin Park Habitats (and bird books), led by Lynda and Skip Paznokas