Catlow Valley

Home » Birding Locations » Harney County » Steens/alvord Area

Alvord Desert and Alvord Hot Springs

More Info Directions

Pueblo Mountain Valleys

More Info Directions

Steens Mountain

More Info Directions

Fields Oasis

More Info Directions




Travel south on Hwy 205 from Frenchglen and you will quickly climb out of one valley and into another. This second valley is the Catlow.

Much of the Catlow Valley is actively managed for cattle by the huge, million-plus-acre Roaring Springs Ranch. The ranch requires water, and the water features it contains offer some nice birding. This private ranch is not open to the public but they do tolerate birders that bird from the highway. Pull well off the road and view birds from the roadside.


Habitat and Birds

The name Roaring Springs comes from a series of “seeps” that come out of the canyon walls. The half-mile stretch north of the private ranch entrance road is particularly productive. Pull well off the road here to view a pond on one side of the road, and willows that line the drainage from the seeps on the other. Lush vegetation here is home to Yellow- breasted Chats and Lazuli Buntings, as well as Bullock’s Orioles and a number of other species. Check high up on the rimrock for White-throated Swifts and listen for calling Chukar.

Farther south, several ponds can be viewed from Hwy 205. One deeper pond sometimes called “Sixmile Pond” is worth checking. Pull well off the road. County rarities like Common Loon have appeared on these ponds.