Top 15 Types Of Birds In Portland Oregon (with Photos)

The diverse and vibrant avian population in Portland, Oregon is a testament to the city’s rich natural environment. From majestic raptors to colorful songbirds, this region offers a captivating array of bird species that call it home.

As the sun sets over the lush forests and meandering rivers, a symphony of calls and chirps fills the air, inviting us to explore the intriguing world of Portland’s birds.

Whether you’re a seasoned birdwatcher or simply curious about the winged creatures that grace our skies, prepare to be captivated by the tales and wonders that lie within this fascinating realm.

Bald Eagle

The majestic Bald Eagle, a symbol of strength and freedom, is a prominent bird species found in the diverse avian population of Portland, Oregon. Despite once being on the brink of extinction, the bald eagle has made a remarkable recovery and is no longer considered endangered. This remarkable turnaround is a testament to the conservation efforts put in place to protect its habitat and nesting sites.

The habitat of the bald eagle consists of a combination of forests, wetlands, and rivers. They prefer areas near large bodies of water, such as rivers or lakes, where they can find an abundant food supply. Bald eagles are skilled hunters and primarily feed on fish, although they will also scavenge for carrion.

When it comes to nesting, bald eagles are known for their impressive nests, which are typically built in tall trees near water. These nests can be massive, reaching up to 10 feet in diameter and weighing over a ton. Bald eagles are known to return to the same nest year after year, adding to it each breeding season.

Red-tailed Hawk

An attention-grabbing image showcasing the majestic Red-tailed Hawk soaring gracefully over Portland's lush, emerald-green forests, its fiery-reddish tail feathers trailing behind, against a backdrop of the city's iconic skyline

Having explored the remarkable recovery of the bald eagle in Portland, Oregon, we now shift our focus to another captivating bird species, the Red-tailed Hawk.

Known for its striking appearance and impressive hunting skills, the Red-tailed Hawk is a common sight in the region’s skies. Conservation efforts have played a crucial role in maintaining the population of these majestic birds.

Red-tailed hawks are known to exhibit a wide range of behaviors, making them an intriguing subject for analysis. They are skilled hunters, often seen soaring high above open fields and forests, searching for small mammals and birds.

Their characteristic red tail feathers, which give them their name, are a distinguishing feature and can be observed during flight. With their keen eyesight and powerful talons, red-tailed hawks are a testament to the diversity and resilience of Portland’s avian population.

Western Tanager

An image capturing the vibrant allure of a Western Tanager perched on a blossoming Dogwood tree branch in Portland, Oregon

With its vibrant plumage and melodious song, the Western Tanager adds a splash of color and music to the forests of Portland, Oregon. This migratory bird is a common summer visitor to the region, arriving in late April and departing in early September.

The male Western Tanager is a sight to behold, with its bright yellow plumage, contrasting black wings, and a distinctive reddish-orange head. The female, although less flamboyant, still boasts a striking appearance with her olive-green body and yellowish head.

One of the unique features of the Western Tanager is its feeding behavior. Unlike many other birds that primarily eat insects, the Western Tanager also enjoys feasting on fruit, making it an important seed disperser in the forest ecosystem.

Its distinctive call and beautiful coloring make the Western Tanager a favorite among birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike.

American Goldfinch

An image capturing the vibrant brilliance of an American Goldfinch in Portland, Oregon

As we shift our focus from the vibrant Western Tanager, we now turn our attention to the American Goldfinch, a charming songbird that graces the forests of Portland, Oregon.

The American Goldfinch, also known as the Eastern Goldfinch, is a small bird that can be easily identified by its bright yellow plumage and black wings with white bars. These birds prefer open habitats such as meadows, fields, and gardens, where they can find their preferred food sources.

The American Goldfinch has a primarily vegetarian diet, consisting of seeds from various plants, including thistles, sunflowers, and dandelions. In terms of migration, American Goldfinches are considered short-distance migrants, with some populations moving south during the winter months.

Breeding behaviors of these birds include nesting in shrubs and trees, with the female building the nest and the male providing food for the female and young.

The American Goldfinch is a delightful addition to the birdlife in Portland, bringing its beautiful colors and melodic songs to the region.

Great Blue Heron

An image capturing the majestic Great Blue Heron wading gracefully in a serene Portland river, its tall figure standing tall amidst the lush greenery, its slate-blue plumage shimmering in the golden sunlight

The Great Blue Heron, a majestic and iconic bird, is a common sight in the lush wetlands of Portland, Oregon. With its striking blue-gray plumage, long neck, and dagger-like bill, this heron stands out among the other avian inhabitants of the region.

The great blue heron is known for its ability to adapt to various habitats, including marshes, streams, ponds, and even urban areas. It is often seen patiently stalking its prey, which primarily consists of fish, frogs, and small mammals.

During the breeding season, these herons gather in large colonies, building nests high up in trees or on rocky ledges.

While they are primarily sedentary birds, great blue herons do undertake seasonal migrations, with some individuals traveling long distances to find suitable foraging grounds and breeding sites. These migration patterns vary depending on the availability of food and the climatic conditions of their respective habitats.

Northern Flicker

An image capturing the vibrant beauty of a Northern Flicker amidst the lush greenery of Portland, Oregon

The diverse avian community of Portland, Oregon also includes the striking Northern Flicker, a woodpecker species known for its distinctive markings and vibrant plumage. With its yellow underparts and black-scalloped plumage, the Northern Flicker is easily recognizable.

Birdwatchers in Portland can spot this magnificent bird by looking for its unique flight pattern, a combination of rapid wingbeats and gliding. To attract Northern Flickers to your yard, provide them with suet feeders and a variety of insects and berries.

When observing the Northern Flicker, listen for its distinctive call, which resembles a loud, repetitive ‘wick-a-wick-a-wick’. It is important to preserve the habitat of the Northern Flicker, as they rely on open woodlands and wooded edges for nesting and foraging. By protecting these habitats, we can ensure the continued presence of this beautiful species in Portland, Oregon.

Black-capped Chickadee

An image capturing the vibrant beauty of a Black-capped Chickadee perched on a moss-covered branch in the lush forests of Portland, Oregon

With its distinctive black cap and playful nature, the Black-capped Chickadee is a common sight in the avian community of Portland, Oregon. Known for its small size and cheerful demeanor, this charismatic songbird is a favorite among birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. The Black-capped Chickadee is primarily found in deciduous and mixed forests, as well as urban areas with plenty of trees and shrubs. Its habitat preference includes areas with dense vegetation, providing ample opportunities for foraging and nesting. Speaking of foraging, the diet of a Black-capped Chickadee consists mainly of insects, seeds, berries, and small fruits. They are skilled acrobats, often seen hanging upside down from branches while searching for food. Their captivating behavior and melodious songs make them a delightful addition to the diverse avifauna of Portland, Oregon.

Black-capped Chickadee
Size 4.7 – 5.9 inches
Habitat Deciduous forests, mixed forests, urban areas
Diet Insects, seeds, berries, small fruits

Anna’s Hummingbird

An image capturing the vibrant iridescence of an Anna's Hummingbird in Portland, Oregon

After admiring the playful nature of the Black-capped Chickadee, the focus now shifts to the captivating presence of Anna’s Hummingbird in the avian community of Portland, Oregon. This stunning species of hummingbird is a common sight in the region, known for its vibrant plumage and unique behavior.

Anna’s Hummingbird is a year-round resident of Portland, defying the conventional migration patterns of other hummingbird species. This remarkable adaptation allows the bird to thrive in the temperate climate of the Pacific Northwest.

However, climate change poses a potential threat to the migration patterns of Anna’s Hummingbird in the future. Rising temperatures and habitat loss could disrupt their usual routes and breeding grounds.

To ensure the conservation of this remarkable bird, ongoing efforts are being made to protect their habitats and raise awareness about their importance in the ecosystem.

Rufous Hummingbird

An image capturing the vibrant essence of a Rufous Hummingbird in Portland, Oregon

Native to the western parts of North America, the Rufous Hummingbird is a migratory species that captivates bird enthusiasts with its stunning appearance and remarkable behavior. These small birds undertake an incredible journey each year, traveling from their breeding grounds in the Pacific Northwest to their wintering grounds in Mexico. Rufous Hummingbirds are known for their long-distance migration patterns, which cover thousands of miles. They embark on this journey to take advantage of abundant food sources and more favorable climates.

When it comes to nesting habits, Rufous Hummingbirds are quite unique. Unlike many other bird species, they do not build nests on tree branches. Instead, they prefer to build their nests on the ground, usually in dense shrubs or low vegetation. The female Rufous Hummingbird constructs her nest using materials such as moss, lichen, and spider silk, which she carefully weaves together to create a secure and camouflaged structure. These nests are often hidden from predators and provide a safe haven for the female to lay her eggs and raise her young.

Rufous Hummingbirds are truly fascinating creatures, both in their migration patterns and their nesting habits.


An image capturing the majestic Osprey of Portland, Oregon in action

The next avian species to captivate bird enthusiasts in Portland, Oregon is the Osprey, a remarkable bird known for its impressive fishing skills and unique nesting habits. Ospreys are large birds of prey that can be found near bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes, and coastal areas. They have a wingspan of about 5 to 6 feet and are easily recognizable with their white underparts and dark brown upperparts. Ospreys are skilled fishermen and feed primarily on fish, which they catch by diving feet first into the water.

When it comes to nesting, Ospreys build large stick nests on top of trees, cliffs, or man-made structures, such as telephone poles and artificial platforms. They often return to the same nesting site year after year.

In terms of migration patterns, Ospreys are known to be long-distance migratory birds. They breed in the northern parts of North America during the summer and then migrate to the southern parts, including Central and South America, during the winter.

Although Ospreys were once classified as a threatened species, their conservation status has improved in recent years due to conservation efforts and the banning of harmful pesticides. They are now considered a species of least concern.

Western Meadowlark

An image showcasing the vibrant hues of the Western Meadowlark perched on a blooming Oregon grapevine, against a backdrop of majestic Douglas firs and the iconic St

A vibrant and melodious song can often be heard resonating across the grasslands of Portland, Oregon, signaling the presence of the Western Meadowlark. This medium-sized bird, with its bright yellow breast and distinctive black V-shaped bib, is a familiar sight in the region.

The Western Meadowlark is known for its unique migration patterns, with individuals traveling from their breeding grounds in Oregon to their wintering grounds in California and Mexico. These birds rely on open grasslands for nesting and foraging, making them vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation.

In response, conservation efforts have been implemented to protect and restore their natural habitats. Conservation organizations work to create and maintain grassland habitats, promote sustainable land management practices, and raise awareness about the importance of preserving these ecosystems.

American Kestrel

An image capturing the vibrant beauty of an American Kestrel perched atop a moss-covered branch in a lush Portland forest, its striking plumage contrasting against the scenic backdrop of towering evergreens and a gentle stream

As we shift our focus from the Western Meadowlark, we turn our attention to the American Kestrel, a captivating bird species that frequents the diverse landscapes of Portland, Oregon. The American Kestrel, scientifically known as Falco sparverius, is a small falcon that can be easily identified by its striking plumage. This bird species has a wide habitat range, including grasslands, open fields, and agricultural areas. They are commonly found perched on high wires or poles, scanning the surroundings for their prey. American Kestrels are known for their agile flight and impressive hunting skills. They have the ability to hover in mid-air, making it easier for them to spot their prey, which mainly consists of small mammals, insects, and birds. Their behavior is characterized by their territorial nature, with males often engaging in aerial displays to attract females. The following table provides a summary of the American Kestrel’s habitat and behavior:

American Kestrel
Common Name American Kestrel
Scientific Name Falco sparverius
Habitat Grasslands, open fields, agricultural areas
Behavior Territorial, agile flight, hunting skills, aerial displays to attract mates

Common Raven

An image capturing the majestic profile of a Common Raven in Portland, Oregon

With its distinct black plumage and intelligent demeanor, the Common Raven is a highly adaptable and fascinating bird species that can be found in the diverse landscapes of Portland, Oregon. These birds play a crucial role in the ecosystem of the region.

As scavengers, they help maintain the balance by feeding on carrion and other organic waste, preventing the spread of diseases. Additionally, Common Ravens are known to be opportunistic predators, preying on small mammals, birds, and insects. Their foraging behavior also aids in seed dispersal, contributing to the growth and diversity of plant species in the area.

Conservation efforts for Common Ravens in Portland, Oregon are focused on preserving their habitat and promoting sustainable practices. These include maintaining protected areas with suitable nesting sites, reducing human disturbances, and raising awareness about the importance of these birds in the ecosystem.

American Robin

An image capturing the vibrant charm of an American Robin in Portland, Oregon

The American Robin, a familiar sight in the landscapes of Portland, Oregon, brings its vibrant red breast and melodic song to the diverse avian community of the region. As the most common bird in Portland, the American Robin can be found in a variety of habitats, including urban areas. These adaptable birds are known for their preference for open spaces with short grass, such as lawns, parks, and golf courses. They are often seen hopping on the ground, searching for earthworms and insects to feed on.

In urban areas, they may also forage for berries and fruits on shrubs and trees. The American Robin is a migratory species, with individuals in Portland typically breeding during the summer and migrating south for the winter. They form large flocks during migration, creating a spectacular sight as they travel together in search of food and suitable nesting grounds.

The urban environment of Portland offers the American Robin ample food resources and nesting sites, making it a thriving species in the region.

White-crowned Sparrow

An image capturing the elegance of a White-crowned Sparrow perched on a moss-covered branch, its distinctive black and white crown contrasting with the vibrant green foliage of Portland's lush forests

A common sight in the woodlands and gardens of Portland, Oregon, the White-crowned Sparrow adds its distinctive song and elegant plumage to the diverse avian tapestry of the region.

Known for its striking black and white crown, this sparrow is a year-round resident in some parts of Oregon, while others migrate through the state during spring and fall. Portland acts as an important stopover site for these birds during their migration, providing essential resources such as food and shelter.

White-crowned Sparrows are known for their breeding habits, typically nesting on the ground in dense vegetation. They lay a clutch of three to five eggs and both parents share the responsibility of incubating the eggs and feeding the young.

These sparrows are a beautiful and melodious addition to the birdlife of Portland, Oregon.

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