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Taking flight on Sauvie Island

Annual bird watching event draws crowds to Sauvie Island

The 11th annual Raptor Road Trip on Sauvie Island drew crowds of hundreds on Saturday, Feb. 6, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

During the event, volunteers from the Audubon Society of Portland taught visitors the basics of birdwatching, including how to identify birds by their size, wing shape and markings.

Volunteers were set up at four different locations on Sauvie Island allowing visitors to see unique birds in different wildlife areas that are wintering-over on the island.

The Audubon Society was also able to reintroduce a red-tailed hawk into the wild during Saturday’s event. The hawk had been rehabilitated from a wing injury by volunteers at the Audubon Society.

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - Robyn Bluemmel, an Audubon Society of Portland volunteer, holds Finnegan the peregrine falcon, and explains how to identify falcons in the wild. The Audubon Society of Portland has several education birds who are were taken in due to injury and are in permanent care of the organization. The birds are used to teach the public about native Oregon bird species.

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - Irmgard Oliver, a Portland resident, and Ginnie Ross, an Audubon Society of Portland volunteer, watch Ruby the turkey vulture spread her wings while sitting on the edge of a sign. Ross explained that vultures often pose like this in the wild.

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - A group of bird watchers use spotting scopes and binoculars to look at waterfowl, like ducks and wigeons, at Coon Point on Sauvie Island on Saturday, Feb. 6.

SPOTLIGHT NEWS: NICOLE THILL - The wildlife viewing platform off Reeder Road on Sauvie Island was set up with spotting scopes for birdwatchers to see eagles, geese and herons perched in trees or floating on the water. Large groups of birds often flew off together, only to land in another areas.

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - Pam Meyers (right), an Audubon Society of Portland volunteer, holds Jack, an American kestrel, for a groups of visitors to see up close.