Great Gray Owl

Wildlife Viewing

 

The Oakridge and Westfir communities are surrounded by the Willamette National Forest which harbors a variety of wildlife typical of the western Cascades mountains. 

Conifer forests cloak the hillsides boasting Douglas-fir, cedars, and hemlock.  Wildlife common to these habitats include pileated woodpecker, Pacific wren, varied thrush, sooty grouse, northern spotted owl, northern flying squirrels, American marten, black-tailed deer, Roosevelt elk, mountain lion, and black bear. Drier slopes contain mixtures of conifer, Oregon white oak, and Pacific madrone.  Wildlife preferring these conditions include red-breasted nuthatch, black-capped chickadee, red-breasted sapsucker, western bluebird, and mountain quail. 

Four rivers stake their claim in Oakridge and Westfir – Middle Fork Willamette River, North Fork (Middle Fork) Willamette River, Salt Creek, and Salmon Creek where you may encounter common merganser, American dipper, and if you are lucky, harlequin duck.  These waterways are bordered by riparian woodlands comprised of alders and cottonwood.  Wildlife of the riparian zone include beaver, red-legged frogs, Pacific tree frogs, great blue heron, and osprey. 

 Hills Creek Reservoir is located just southeast of town and is a great viewing area for bald eagles, grebes, goldeneyes, and loons. Additionally, the residential portions of Oakridge and Westfir provide habitat for urban species.  Check local bird feeders for evening and black-headed grosbeaks, western scrub-jays, Eurasian collared-doves, and rufous hummingbirds. 

Just above town is a wide open meadow/Christmas tree farm area known as High Prairie where great gray owls, red-tailed hawks, and peregrine falcons keep company with herds of Roosevelt elk and black-tailed deer.

Birding In and Around Oakridge and Westfir