Cooper Mountain Nature Park.

I visited Cooper Mountain today for the first time and boy is my spring fever back!  It was an absolutely gorgeous day and I made sure the dogs got tired out at work in the morning (one of the many benefits of working at a doggie daycare) so I had my whole afternoon free to look for birds...

From the parking area at the top of the trails is a stunning view of the Tualatin River Valley...

I think I managed to check out all of the trails during my three and a half hours (!) at the park.  The first fifteen minutes or so of walking was nearly bird-free but luckily that changed. White-crowned Sparrows were the first birds I noticed in numbers...

Ruby-crowned Kinglets were by far the most common bird of the day.

I found a pair of beautiful Western Bluebirds flying around a field near the main trail. 

So pretty!  Also pretty were all the little butterfly type things flitting about... Most would not stay still for a photo but this little fella did:

Learning more about butterflies is on my long list of things to do... On the Larkspur Loop trail I was startled to find a Cooper's Hawk perched right next to me. 

I had seen both a juvenile Cooper's and an adult fly overhead earlier on my walk so it was nice to have one actually pose for the camera.

I saw a couple Hermit Thrushes throughout the park...

At the Prairie Overlook I finally found an interesting warbler... My first of the year Black-throated Gray!

Woohoo!  Good birds!  Oh and there were some flowers too... yet another thing I'd like to learn more about... For now I'll just call them pretty:


  1. Why shouldn't you find a Cooper's Hawk on Cooper Mountain :-)

    What a nice, red tail on your Hermit Thrush. And excellent Black-throated Gray shot!

  2. What a wonderful day. The scenery looks gorgeous. You got awesome shots of the Coppers Hawk and the cute warbler. Pretty butterfly. All are great sightings.

  3. Amazing pictures! And while I visited your blog for the birds... I was happy to see the glacier lily at the end... My favorite flower and sadly mine are still covered in snow.

  4. As always gorgeous photos. I think the butterfly might be a Sara's Orangetip. I recommend a book called "Butterflies of the Pacific Northwest" by William Neill. It's a pretty good guidebook, and the photo in there looks a lot like yours.

  5. Wonderful birds! I haven't been there in a while and it inspired me to visit again soon. Love the bluebird shots :)

  6. What a shot of the coopers!!! and that black throated grey is one I'd love to see--I know one flower is the shooting star but the others not so familiar with...

  7. Hey Jen, I've got to head back up to Cooper Mtn to try to find that black-throated grey! Thanks.

  8. Hi Jen, Mike is right, the butterfly is a Sara's Orangetip (Anthocaris sara). It's a female.

    Word has gotten out on the owlets at RNWR, and people are bothering them constantly. I'm about to get real vocal with some of those people.

    There was a River Otter at the refuge yesterday and a lot of other interesting things, including a Mourning Cloak, a Spring Azure (aka Echo Blue), and another butterfly that was going too fast to positively identify (probably a Red Admiral or California Tortoiseshell).

    I enjoy your reports and pictures. I don't remember what user name I used before so I posted this under anonymous.


  9. Wow, nice Cooper's Hawk and Black-throated Gray Warbler pics! I've only been to Cooper Mountain once. I may have to make another visit.


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