Visitors should use extra caution in this area and not leave valuables in their vehicles. Be sure to read the signs at each area you visit to check for access restrictions, especially during hunting season.
For additional information visit the following link. http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/visitors/fern_ridge_wildlife_area/bird_watching.asp
Map of the dikes here: https://oregonbirding.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/fernridge-map.pdf
This area is at the west end of Royal Ave, west of Eugene.
Habitat and Birds
On Royal Avenue just west of the intersection with Fisher Butte Road, check the stand of oaks on the north side of the road for Acorn Woodpecker. Then continue to the parking lot at the gate (parking pass required) or park on the road (pass not required). This parking lot provides access to a flat gravel trail to a viewing platform to the west, with views over the lake. This path to the viewing platform is open year-round, but at times hunters will be in the vicinity. Black Terns have established a nesting colony in an area along the reservoir to the south and west of the viewing platform. Marsh Wren, Virginia Rail, American Bittern, and other marsh birds inhabit the area along the trail. White-tailed Kites used to roost in this area during the winter months. When access is not restricted, hiking on the dikes in the area provides opportunities to find many species of ducks and shorebirds. The area has yielded some rarities, including Wood Sandpiper in 2008. Loggerhead Shrike and Tufted Duck, rarities in the Willamette Valley, have been found here more than once.
There is a private gravel road east of the parking lot. A public hiking trail is on the north side of Royal, just east of the private gravel road. This trail heads north from Royal Avenue toward another portion of the reservoir. In recent years Grasshopper Sparrow has been found in the grassy meadow north of the private home site during nesting season. You can also hike north from the parking lot.
Nearby Birding Locations
- Skinner Butte
- Fern Ridge Reservoir - Perkins Peninsula Park
- Stewart Pond
- Mount Pisgah Arboretum and Buford Park
- Delta Ponds
- Spencer Butte
- Fern Ridge Reservoir - East and West Coyote Units
- Fern Ridge Reservoir - Kirk Park
- Fern Ridge Reservoir - Fisher Butte Unit
- Clearwater Park
- Meadowlark Prairie - Checkermallow Access
- Meadowlark Prairie - Green Hill Overlook
- Lane Community College Ponds