Winter Birding

We are pleased to report that the owl and hawk population have continued to improve this year.  We were very excited to find a white baby owl fledged in early July.  It appeared to belong to a parent great horned owl, but was white!  Upon conference with one of Washington States noted birders, it was suggested this bird had leucism.  We all enjoyed seeing the white owl over the next few months.

Winter birding is popular in the Okanogan Highlands.  Winter hosts a variety of owls, hawks, Bohemian Waxwings, young and mature Eagles, grouse, partridges, snow buntings, pine grosbeaks, Northern Goshawk, Common and Hoary Red-polls, and wood peckers.  There are also magpies and ravens.  The local rodent and squirrel populations continue to be high and although bobcats and coyotes hunt vigorously, the few local predator birds have been doing well too.  Some visiting biologists were concerned in 2015 that avian flu had impacted wild bird numbers.

Bald Eagles migrate early and sometimes find a lot of snow.  A few ducks have been wintering in Sidley lake in the open water provided by the aerator that Pat Stice has been operating.  Come and add to the list!

Traditional experienced birders historically have traveled winter routes yielding excellent viewing variety such as Mary Anne Creek Road, Highland Sno-park, Myers Creek area and Bolster Road.  The local birders travel a few more roads including Lost Lake Road, Davies Road, Fletcher Hill Road, Dry Gulch Road, Molson Road and on to Nine Mile Road plus others.  Eden Valley Guest Ranch is the perfect place to stay for a Highland birding adventure.

If you wish to bring a group, see our catering options under groups and meetings.

Eden Valley now keeps a local bird sighting notebook on the Reference Table in the Lodge created with data from guests willing to share information about their adventures.  We keep lists of text, pictures, comments, suggestions and birding book recommendations.

A quick web search will show birding history data back to the late 1940's for the Okanogan Highlands.