Birding

The main motivation most members of LCBAS have for joining the chapter is to watch birds! We provide opportunities for members and the public to enjoy nature, watch birds, and learn more about their biology and identification. In particular, we offer

Benton & Franklin County
Birding Hotspots
  • Find and explore the best birding hotspots in Benton and Franklin Counties. Peruse the geographically grouped sites, choose an area and go birding!

  • Links for each site take you to eBird where you will find a treasure trove of details and photos about the birds observed there. 

Belted Kingfisher by LUmthun

Belted Kingfisher
Larry Umthun

Bullock's Oriole by LUmthun

Bullock's Oriole
Larry Umthun

Common Loon by LUmthun

Common Loon
Larry Umthun

View west from Bateman Island

View from Bateman Island causeway

Yakima Delta from Columbia Point South

View to the south from Columbia Point over the Yakima River delta toward Bateman Island

Bateman Island bird walk

Bateman Island is a major birding hotspot in the Mid-Columbia. Located at the confluence of the Yakima and Columbia Rivers, the island and surrounding waters are teeming with a huge variety of birds and other wildlife throughout the year. Over 230 species of waterfowl, songbirds, raptors and shorebirds have been documented in a variety of habitats. Up to 60 species are typically found on a Saturday walk.

Lisa Hill and other knowledgeable birders lead a walk on the first Saturday of the month from September through June. Bird enthusiasts of all experience levels are welcome, especially beginning birders.

  • The island is located in Richland, WA, accessed from Columbia Park Trail.

  • From Hwy 240, take the Columbia Center Blvd exit, go north toward the river.

  • Turn left on Columbia Park Trail and park on the right in the lot of Wye Park, or in spaces flanking the road.

  • Go through the walking access of the chain link fence and proceed to the island causeway.

  • First Saturday walks begin promptly at 8:00AM. A full loop hike around the island is about 2.5 miles, but participants may leave at any time. The group gathers in the Wye Park parking lot.

W.E. Johnson Park - Richland WA

W. E. Johnson Park - Richland

Christmas Bird Count

The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is the much-anticipated highlight of the winter birding season throughout much of the Americas. With humble beginnings nearly 125 years ago, the CBC is one of the world's largest citizen science projects, facilitating the gathering and compilation of an immense amount data about hundreds of bird species.

  • The Tri-Cities Christmas Bird Count (CBC) regularly has the highest number of species seen inland in Washington thanks to strong community and LCBAS member support.

  • It is typically held the first Saturday following Christmas Day.

Tricolored Blackbird by LUmthun

Tricolored Blackbird
Larry Umthun

Black-chinned Hummingbird by LUmthun

Black-chinned Hummingbird
Larry Umthun

2020

Benton Co: 137

Franklin Co: 123

Combined: 151

2021

Benton Co: 128

Franklin Co: 122

Combined: 144

July Birding Challenge
  • July in the Mid-Columbia region is hot and dry; challenging conditions for birds and birders sandwiched between spring and fall migration. Breeding birds are active and fledglings abound, but very few waterfowl or shorebirds are in residence. 

  • Jason Fidorra, local birding enthusiast and wildlife biologist, started the July Challenge in 2020 to encourage people to count as many species as possible in the region in July.

  • Fun and for the birds; a friendly "competition" between Franklin and Benton counties! Participants can align themselves with one county or try to count as many birds as possible in both counties. 

  • Birders are encouraged to us ebird to tally their birding adventures. A remarkable number of species are in the area during the height of summer. To participate in July 2023, contact Jason Fidorra, jfidorra@gmail.com

 

​Prior July Challenge species totals: