Harlequin ducks on the Hood River at Powerdale. Photo by Steider Studios
Columbia Land Trust is offering a volunteer opportunity to help monitor bird species in Hood River, OR.

Do you consider yourself a bird aficionado, or perhaps you’re a budding birder? Consider volunteering to help Columbia Land Trust monitor birds at a conserved site known as the Powerdale Corridor, located along the Hood River.

Volunteers will identify and count birds at the Powerdale ponds on any dates during the breeding season from mid-May through the end of June. Columbia Land Trust staff will provide information about and directions to the site upon sign up. Volunteer birders will visit the site on their own (or with any buddies of their choosing) to look for birds and record what they see. Each site visit might take about two hours and would require 1.5 to 2 miles of hiking, round trip. Ideally, site visits should be completed in the early morning hours.

ABOUT THE SITE

Columbia Land Trust’s Powerdale property on the Hood River is a 400-acre corridor of protected land that extends 3.5 miles along the Hood River, just outside the City of Hood River. Formerly the site of the Powerdale Hydroelectric Project, the property is now managed for habitat conservation and public access. The Powerdale Dam was removed in 2010 and Columbia Land Trust has been restoring fish and wildlife habitat on this land since 2013.

One of the interesting habitats on the property is a series of beaver-dammed ponds that drain into the Hood River. Columbia Land Trust is removing non-native weeds in and around the ponds and will be replanting the area with native species. We hope to learn which birds use the project site before, during, and after native plant restoration. Therefore, we are looking for volunteers to help us monitor bird use around these ponds through e-bird. Check out recent sightings for Hood River–Powerdale Corridor on our ebird account.

Important note: The Powerdale site does not offer wheelchair accessibility due to the nature of the restoration project and limited trails, but the river and some birds may be viewed from the parking area for those interested. For other accessibility inquires please reach out to the contact listed below.

VOLUNTEER BIRDER SKILLS

  • Volunteers are able to identify most bird species found in the Hood River area during breeding season. (Ability to identify birds by sound would be an added bonus).
  • Volunteers are comfortable working independently or with a partner volunteer but without direct staff supervision in the field.
  • Volunteers with experience or interest in learning the eBird app for recording bird observations, but this is not necessary. Alternatively, volunteers can submit hand-written bird lists to the Land Trust.
  • Volunteer who could make two or more site visits during bird breeding season from mid-May through the end of June, but this is not a requirement.
  • Volunteers comfortable birding in a site where ticks and poison oak may be found. Visiting the site does not require walking in poison oak but it is necessary to know what the plant looks like in order to avoid it in the project area.
  • Volunteers able to hike about three quarters of a mile each way on relatively level terrain.

If you are interested in volunteer birding at Powerdale, contact Natural Area Manager Kate Conley at kconley@columbialandtrust.org or (541) 645-0371.

Header photo: Harlequin duck on the Hood River at Powerdale Corridor. Photo by Steider Studios