Spring Birding in the Methow Valley

Spring Birding in the Methow Valley

Spring Birding in the Methow Valley

Event Details

May 31, 2024 09:00 AM to
Jun 02, 2024 01:00 PM
Methow Valley
Activity Level
Class Tuition
Minimum Age
Add it to your calendar

Early June is an exciting time for birders.  The migrants are in and sitting on nests, the singing is at full volume, especially morning choruses.  Wildflowers are on from April to July and the landscape is at its greenest and sweetest.  Let's go birding!

Join longtime Institute instructor Libby Mills to seek out spring bird life in the North Cascades ecosystem as our feathered friends display fascinating breeding behaviors and share their melodious songs. 


This spring we will conduct the class in the Methow valley to explore the habitats that are rich in biodiversity: sagebrush steppe, riparian aspen and cottonwood/willow, Ponderosa Pine forests and lots of edges between habitats.  We will use Pearrygin Lake State Park as our meeting place and those inclined to camp will do so there.  If you prefer a motel or have other arrangements, you can make your own overnight accommodations.  


We will begin our mornings birding early, as bird song starts early and activity is best before the heat builds up.  We will seek finches and woodpeckers, warblers and chats, swallows and kingbirds.  Birds from the Andes, Central American tropical forests, Mexican High Sierra and California leave their winter retreat and flood into the landscape of the Methow Valley and the North Cascades. The weather will guide us in choosing the best birding, and we will explore edges of ponds, trails around Pearrygin Lake St Park, and recovering burns in adjacent forests.  We will walk up to four miles some days, maybe, and do a lot of stationary observation other times. Good birding includes patience, and brings joy.  

We will wrap things up when the birding cools off Sunday, around 1 pm or so. 


Libby has taught natural history in these mountains for over thirty five years and is an expert in bird identification with a keen ear for song recognition, an essential tool for any aspiring birder from beginner to avid enthusiast.  She loves taking out others of all experience levels to share the amazing tales of our tiny winged migrants and neighbors.

This camping based program will involve a potluck dinner on Friday night and access to hot water and dish washing for all other breakfasts and dinners.  Please plan to provide your own breakfast, lunches, snacks, and Saturday dinner. There is an option to stay in the group campsite the Thursday night before the course. If you plan to camp with us, pack your own tent and camping equipment, or let us know if we can loan you gear.  

Scholarships and Student, Military and Disability discounts are available for most in-person programs. Call (360) 854-2599 for more info!