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Metro to hold Sauvie Island raptor tour, weather permitting

Tour offers chance to observe, hear native and migrant birds on island


Metro will host its 10th annual Raptor Road Trip Saturday, Feb. 8, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sauvie Island.

The event provides locals with the opportunity to listen to and observe native bird populations on the island, as well as migrant bird populations overwintering from the Arctic. Attendees will have the chance to hear form local experts about the island’s birds.

John Sheehan, one of the event’s organizers with Metro, said patrons will have the chance to see a variety of raptors and waterfowl.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Attendees of the 2013 Raptor Road Trip peer through binoculars at local birds on Sauvie Island. “You frequently see bald eagles and red-tailed hawks, you can also see northern harriers and merlins,” he said. “There’s a huge variety of raptors that winter in that area. Basically, it’s a wildlife refuge [the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife] runs on the northern half of the island.”

“There is also an amazing abundance of waterfowl — sandhill cranes, snow geese and swans. Some come down from the Arctic and winter here until spring,” Sheehan said. “Sauvie Island has large bodies of open water that waterfowl can enjoy and find as a good habitat for them, and raptors will prey on the waterfowl.”

While Sheehan expressed excitement about the event, he cautioned that it may have to be cancelled due to weather.

“We’ll update the [Audubon Society of Portland] website and the recording on the main number the day of the event by 7 a.m.,” he said.

Those interested in attending can check the event’s status by visiting www.audubonportland.org or by calling 503-292-6855.

The event fee is $10 per vehicle and must be paid in cash. The fee includes a Sauvie Island Wildlife Area parking permit. The tour will start at Kruger’s Farm Market, located at 17100 N.W. Sauvie Island Road. Hot drinks and doughnuts will be provided in the morning. Books and binoculars will also be available for purchase.

Metro encourages carpooling for those attending.

Advance registration is not required. For more information, call 503-797-1650 or visit www.oregonmetro.gov/parks.