From Madras, travel south about 8 miles on Hwy 97. Turn west on SW Iris Drive and travel about 4 miles through the town of Culver until Iris dead ends at Feather Drive. Turn north on Feather and take it several miles following the signs to Cove Palisades State Park. Turn west on Fisch Lane and then north on Frazier Drive. Turn west at the Cove Palisades Store. Follow the signs to Lake Billy Chinook.
Crooked River Campground is located at the entrance to the canyon that hosts the park. For information on Crooked River CG birding click here.
Amenities: Lake Billy Chinook is a resort area and has multiple amenities. Birding, picnicking, boat launch, kayaking, marina, boat rentals, supplies, swimming, flush toilets, camp store, cabins for rent, etc. This is the site of the Cove Palisades State Park.
(Part of this area is in the Utopia Christmas Bird Count Circle)Directions
Habitat and Birds
Large open water body surrounded by steep cliffs and juniper scrub. This reservoir rarely freezes and often holds ducks, grebes and Common Loon. Often large numbers of gulls are attracted to the boat ramp at the Cove Palisades State Park. At the same location, it is possible to see Chukar and Canyon Wren on the surrounding cliffs. Also listen for Chukar near the Marina parking lot. There are several car parks that give access to the water. Often these hold interesting birds, especially in the migration periods and winter (often Yellow-rumped Warbler and Varied Thrush can be found in the winter). Other species to look for include Bushtit, Double-crested Cormorant, Common Merganser, Tundra Swan, Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Cooper’s Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Rock Wren and Bullock’s Oriole. Rare birds that have been reported from this location include Long- tailed Duck, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Pacific Loon, Herring Gull, Sabine’s Gull, Glaucous Gull, Black Swift, and Northern Mockingbird.