Powell Butte

January 18, 2015 0 By Audrey

Because it was still daylight (therefore more birds to see), after Whitaker Ponds I went to Powell Butte Nature Park. This extinct cinder cone volcano in the city of Portland serves as wonderful wildlife habitat with wide open fields, surrounding woodlands, wild hawthorn trees, and Johnson Creek running at the base.

The park website describes ring-neck pheasants as a visiting bird – what a sight that would be! Not this day however, instead the bird of the day was the American Kestrel. I counted about eight individuals; many perched in trees, soaring overhead, and a pair hunting on the ground. I decided the park should change its name to Kestrel Butte.

I only saw a few other bird species: a Great Blue Heron, a Western Scrub-Jay and I heard a humming bird.There was one larger raptor-like bird that puzzled me:


Hoping it was a Northern Harrier (as I’ve heard they reside here), I concluded it was more likely a Red-tailed Hawk due to the darker head, lighter chest, and lack of the “owl-like facial disc” (present on Northern Harriers).

No new species to add from this trip, but I gained a lot of experience identifying Kestrels and I’ll certainly re-visit another time to search for the pheasant!

Tweets and chirps,