Field Trips

Printable Field Trip Descriptions (PDF)

Click the links below for detailed information on each field trip, and scroll down to the registration button.

Meet for your field trip 15 minutes prior to start time. Trips will depart on time. If you are attending the GROWISER tour, plan to leave at least 30-40 minutes before the start time.

Rhinehart Canyon for Early Risers - Sunday, May 19th, 5:00am - 10:30am

Led by professional birder, Trent Bray, we will spend the morning looking and listening for birds along the Grande Ronde River at the famous birding spot, Rhinehart Canyon (about 18 miles north of La Grande). Over 140 species have been seen at this location. We may need to do some carpooling depending upon participant turnout.

Meet at Union County Senior Center.

Difficulty level: Moderate, a few miles of walking over uneven and rocky terrain.

5:00am – 10:30am

$35 per participant

Limited to 12 participants

Birds & Botany of the Ponderosa Pine Forest - Sunday, May 19th, 6:30am - 12:30pm

Led by naturalists, Mike and Susan Daugherty and botanist, Kent Coe, this half day trip focusses on the flora and fauna of the ponderosa pine forest in the Spring Creek area of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. This area is a good place to see forest habitat birds of the region and is one of the few known nesting areas for Great Gray Owls in Oregon. The owls are reclusive and not often seen.

Meet at the Union County Senior Center.

Difficulty level: Moderate; approximately 3 to 5 miles of walking, depending on the route chosen for the day, on uneven ground in forested areas and on secondary roads.

6:30am – 12:30pm

$25 per participant

Limited to 10 participants

Grande Ronde Valley “Hotspots” - Sunday, May 19th, 6:30am – 11:00am

Songbirds, shorebirds, and birds of prey will be the focus of this field trip. Led by local experienced birders, Mike and Jo Mahoney, this field trip focuses on birding “hotspots” in the Grande Ronde Valley, including areas at Ladd Marsh and sites on private property in the Valley.

Meet at Peach Road registration trailer.

Difficulty level: Easy; most birding will be from or near a car, or during short walks on level ground. Participants will use their own vehicles.

6:30am – 11:00am

$25 per participant

Limited to 10 participants

Birding for Beginners - Sunday, May 19th, 7:00am – Noon

Led by Dr. Laura Mahrt, Associate Professor of Biology at Eastern Oregon University, this field trip will focus on birds that use riparian areas in Northeast Oregon. This habitat provides food, cover and nest sites for numerous birds such as Gray Catbird, Lazuli Bunting, Veery, Vaux’s Swifts and numerous warblers and woodpeckers. This field trip is not just for beginners, but is open to all birders of all levels that want to hone their birding skills. We will work on basic birding skills of size and shape, color pattern and behavior.

Meet at Union County Senior Center.

Difficulty level: Moderate, some walking off-trail on uneven ground.

7:00am – Noon

$25 per participant

Limited to 10 participants

Inside the Marsh - Sunday, May 19th, 7:00am - Noon

Local birders Steve Clements and Arlene Blumton will lead a walk around the Distribution Ponds through a variety of habitats, include the deep water Distribution Pond itself, along a cottonwood tree line and through marshy fields. This is a good opportunity to see lots of different species and to get “inside” the Marsh a bit more than you might usually.

Meet at the Peach Lane fishing pond.

Difficulty level: Easy, though there could be some wet conditions and the total walk is around a mile and a half.

7:00 am – Noon

$25 per participant

Limited to 12 participants

GROWISER - Sunday, May 19th, 9:00am - 12:00pm

Enjoy the birds and spring flowers at GROWISER/Grande Ronde Overlook Wildflower Institute Serving Ecological Restoration. This 230 acre native plant preserve is 20 miles north of La Grande. It features both forest and prairie ecosystems. To save travel time, participants will meet at the home of the preserve owner at 69512 Pumpkin Ridge Rd, Summerville, OR 97876; look for a “TOUR” banner. The tour will cover about 2 miles. Restrooms and seating areas are present.

Participants will travel to tour location: https://www.growiser.net/directions.html, or email Karen Antell at growiser2012@gmail.com. Website: https://www.growiser.net.

Difficulty level: Moderate; walking up or down gentle to steep grades on gravel trails and dirt paths.

9:00am – 12:00pm

$25 per participant

Limited to 15 participants

Rhinehart Canyon for Afternooners - Sunday, May 19th, 10:30 - 3:00pm

Led by professional birder, Trent Bray, we will spend the morning looking and listening for birds along the Grande Ronde River at the famous birding spot, Rhinehart Canyon (about 18 miles north of La Grande). Over 140 species have been seen at this location. We may need to do some carpooling depending upon participant turnout.

Meet at Union County Senior Center.

Difficulty level: Moderate, a few miles of walking over uneven and rocky terrain.

10:30am – 3:00pm

$35 per participant

Limited to 12 participants