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
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.
Bateman Island is closed to the public until further notice due to a recent fire.
The First Saturday bird walk on Dec 2 will be at Two Rivers Park in Finley. We will begin promptly at 8am.
Meet in the parking lot at the west end of the park. Quite a few interesting species have been seen there recently.
Bird Lists - printable documents
Small Checklist of the Birds of the Lower Columbia Basin (print two-sided on 8.5"x14" paper and fold into 5ths)
LCBAS & Tapteal Greenway joint bird walks
A series of bird walks to explore points along the Tapteal Greenway. Learn about birds and the variety of habitats on the trail.
More 2nd Saturday joint bird walks with LCBAS and Tapteal Greenway might be scheduled for fall 2023.
July 2023 challenge stats
Benton Co: 130 species and 16 participants.
Top three listers in Benton Co:
Elke Davis 117 species, Lisa Hill 109 species,
Laurie Ness 108 species.
Franklin Co: 126 species and 13 participants
Top three listers in Franklin Co:
Jason Fidorra 109, Dana Ward 90 species,
Mark Gerber 75 species
Benton Co: 137
Franklin Co: 123
Benton Co: 128
Franklin Co: 122
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 2024, contact Jason Fidorra, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prior July Challenge species totals:
Benton Co: 124
Franklin Co: 116
Benton Co: 130
Franklin Co: 126
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 community 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.
View from Bateman Island causeway
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.