Eugene.

Last weekend my friend and I went down to Eugene to visit the Cascades Raptor Center, a pretty incredible place with over thirty species of resident birds.  Like the Audubon Society of Portland, they do a lot of wildlife rehabilitation as well as education with the birds that live there.  It was pretty cool to see these birds so close up and I highly recommend visiting if you are in the area.

Here are a few of the ones we saw, all bad cellphone shots... 

Northern Spotted Owl

 Gyrfalcon (the only bird there that seemed stressed)


 Burrowing Owl

The most interactive bird was a female Black-billed Magpie, who the woman in charge said was hoping to find a mate and build a nest.  The magpie showed this by bringing sticks to my friend, who would toss the sticks, and she would bring them back.  My friend thought he was playing fetch with her but it seems she was looking for a little more than a game with him.  Hehe.


The raptor center had a nice little gift shop too, and I could not resist buying one of these stickers:


Of course, being in Eugene in the springtime I had another spot to visit on my mind.  After the raptor center we headed over to the Royal Ave area of Fern Ridge Reservoir.  It was getting late-ish (about 6pm) but I was still hoping for some good birds...

Right away we came upon a few Least Sandpipers and two Solitary Sandpipers a yellowlegs.


AND a Solitary Sandpiper...


Some Tree Swallows hangin in a tree...


A flock of Greater White-fronted Geese took flight from the south and headed north...


There are many areas of Fern Ridge that are off-limits till May 1, except on Saturdays.  We were psyched it was indeed the exception day and we walked out along the trail past the platform.  Perhaps the limited foot traffic is what allowed this to happen right on the trail:


Goose eggs!  The parents were swimming nearby so we quickly left the scene.


Another fun find along the trail: frog remains!


So cool.  We walked back to the gravel trail and out towards the lake as the sun was setting.


A Purple Martin watched the sunset from his front porch...


 I wish we had more time down there!  Good times!!