Ancient Ice Age floods left behind remarkable majesty and beauty in the form of coulees in Washington State. Coulee Corridor Scenic Byway showcases this beauty and much more. Enjoy the sights and sounds of an exceptional birding trip in the heart of Washington State. The byway is a birder’s delight, and it is not hard to discover why. Join other bird watchers year-round to see the thriving bird populations along the byway or attend bird festivals throughout the year.
Grab your warm clothes, a scope, binoculars, and a camera and stop in the Grand Coulee Dam Area, where several hundred Bald Eagles winter from November through March. Make sure to visit Othello in late March to catch the three-day Sandhill Crane Festival. Take a crane viewing tour or a special tour of Columbia National Wildlife Refuge during the festival.
Birding opportunities flourish almost anywhere along the byway. A choice place for birders to start along the corridor is Columbia National Wildlife Refuge. Soda and Migraine Lakes, Crab Creek Access, McManamon Lake and other sites throughout the refuge are home to Canada Geese and Mallards, Tundra Swans, Peregrine Falcons, Belted Kingfishers, Soras, Virginia Rails, loons, pelicans, and more. The variety of the birds in the refuge will astound you.
Birding adventures also lie outside of the refuge. Stop at O'Sullivan Dam to see a variety of waterfowl. Get a glimpse of rare Glaucous and Glaucous-winged Gulls in the spring and American White Pelicans and Ospreys in the summer. Explore Potholes State Park to see Lewis's Woodpeckers, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Red-tailed Hawks and other birds. Wherever you decide to stop along the byway, birding opportunities are sure to arise as more than half of the state’s 346 species of birds can be spotted along the byway.
The Coulee Corridor National Scenic Byway has partnered with Audubon Washington and Central Basin Audubon Society to create the Coulee Corridor Birding Trail Map. This map is an outstanding information source for birdwatchers and travelers, and has served roles in interpretation and community education. The project won the 2007 Scenic Byway Award for Interpretation. So grab a map and go birding on the Coulee Corridor Scenic Byway!
- Copyright © 2004 Karen Haire.
- Copyright © 2002 Sunny Walter.
- Copyright © 2005 Teri J. Pieper.