Green Ridge Raptor Survey

Project Description

Each mid-September through mid-October weekend day since 2004, volunteers have gathered near Sisters on Green Ridge to count migrating raptors. In 2021, volunteers counted 1,828 raptors representing 17 species. A total of 130 observers and visitors participated in the 11-day count. Despite the limited number of observation days, the Green Ridge site consistently records the highest number of migrating raptors in the state. On our biggest day, observers recorded 420 raptors moving south.

We welcome visitors of all ages, interest, and skill levels to join us in the spectacle of raptor migration.

Why We Do This and What We Have Learned

The Green Ridge project is committed to the study, enjoyment, and appreciation of raptor migration. Along with many other hawk watch sites across North America, this project adds important information to the Hawk Migration Association of North America’s raptor migration database.

In partnership with the Hawk Migration Association of North America and the Deschutes National Forest’s Sisters Ranger District, we have learned that the public shares our interest and appreciation for nature in general, and birds of prey in particular, and that this citizen-science project can add to our understanding of the natural world.

What Volunteers Do

Before each season, the project’s coordinator announces the dates of operation.

In preparation, the ¼ mile trail to the site is cleared of brush, and a porta-potty is installed in the parking lot.

On the count days, there is at least one qualified observer who identifies each raptor that passes south of the observation site. Any number of participants assist in spotting and tracking migrating raptors. During the count the coordinator compiles each day’s results.

Data sheets are completed on each day of observation with the results posted on COBOL and OBOL listservs. Data is then submitted to which is the raptor migration database of the Hawk Migration Association of North America.

Project Focus Areas

  • Population Monitoring
  • Community Engagement

Would You Like to Volunteer?

There are always opportunities for new volunteers to participate in this project as there are never too many eyes to the skies to assist in spotting and tracking migrating raptors.

This project takes place on weekends in the fall, generally from mid-September through October.

WHERE: The survey site is approximately 18 miles from Indian Ford Campground. Since parking is limited at the site, carpooling is encouraged. Meet no later than 9:00 AM at the entrance to Indian Ford for carpooling options or to follow the project coordinator up to the site.

DIRECTIONS TO INDIAN FORD CAMPGROUND: Take Hwy 126/20 west out of Sisters for 6 miles. Indian Ford is on the north or right side of the highway. The parking lot is just 100 feet off of the highway after you turn onto the 11 road.

SURVEY SITE LOCATION: For those who do not meet at Indian Ford, take Hwy. 20 west of Sisters for 6 miles to the 11 road at Indian Ford Campground. Follow the 11 road north for 10 miles to the end of the pavement. At the end of the pavement bear left on the 1150 road for 7 miles following the signs to Green Ridge Lookout. Then turn left on the 1154 road for 1 mile then turn left again on the 1140 road. Continue for about 1/4 mile then turn right on the 600 road. After less than a mile there will be a small parking spot on the right next to the portapotty. The trail to the site goes north for less than a 1/4 mile. On scheduled weekends there will be additional ECAS signs to the hawkwatch site.

For any additional information please contact project leader David Vick at or 541-923-6943 (cell).