Fort Rock State Park

Fort Rock (Birding Oregon p. 27) is a wonderful open ring of rock rising out of the flat sage steppe of Lake County. The remnant of a lava eruption, worn down by the waves of an immense lake, the high rock walls are home to White-throated Swifts, Rock and Canyon Wrens, and various raptors. The sage flats inside and surrounding the structure attract Sage Sparrows and Green-tailed Towhees.

The rock is filled with bubbles, the result of lava erupting into a lake.

The moon over the western wall. There is a pair of Prairie Falcons in this photo, the male is on top of the ridge and the female is down and to the left near the whitewash.

Here’s a closer look at the Prairie Falcons.

A view of the west wall from inside the crater.

Rock Wren, blending in well with his surroundings

This Mountain Cottontail was soaking up a little sun on this cold windy morning.

The outside of the eastern wall near the parking area. This area seems to be best for White-throated Swifts and Canyon Wrens.

The vegetation near the parking lot attracts both migrant and resident birds. Brewer’s Blackbirds are common here.

Green-tailed Towhee being buffeted by the wind

Western Tanager

Cold temperature and high winds forced this Western Wood-Pewee to hunt from  the ground.

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2 Responses to Fort Rock State Park

  1. Your pewee photos are great and the tanager sure glows in the sagebrush. I remember mostly seeing lots of lizards there- and the swifts were cool to see. Looks like you saw way more birds than I did, but I was there in mid-summer.

  2. Jen says:

    That towhee shot is priceless! I am really enjoying your recent travel posts, thanks for sharing ’em!

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