Male House Finch by Salvez Dodd
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How much do the tours cost?
The rate is $30 an hour, for groups of up to 5 people.
Do you provide transportation to tour locations?
If you don't have your own transportation, we have made arrangements with a local company that can provide a car or small van with a certified driver for an additional fee. If you have your own vehicle, we will provide you with detailed directions to the starting point of your tour and make arrangements to meet you there, or the guide can accompany you in your vehicle. Finally, some of our recommended destinations are accessible via public transportation.
What are the options for meals and/or snacks during the tour?
Because each of our tours is customized to your needs and interests, we will discuss that with you when setting up a tour. In general, we can provide either a portable lunch or snacks for an additional cost.
Can you recommend places to stay, restaurants or other things to do in Portland?
Sure! Click We're working on adding a Portland information page to the site. In the meantime, we'll be happy to answer questions or make recommendations when you call or when we see you on your tour.
How should I dress for the tour?
That will depend to some extent on the specific location of the tour and the time of year. In general, you should have footwear that is suitable for hiking over terrain that could be steep, wet, muddy, rocky or any combination of the above. During warm weather, bring plenty of water, wear sunscreen, and remember your hat and sunglasses! July, August and September are the warmest and driest months. The rest of the year, it is good to dress in layers and be prepared for the possibility of rain.
Do you provide equipment?
Because our tours are aimed primarily at experienced birders, we assume you will bring your own binoculars. I will bring a spotting scope and a camera. I will take pictures of you which I will e-mail to you along with any pictures you would like to have of species we spot on the tour. Bring snacks unless you have arranged in advance to have me bring food. On longer tours, we can also stop at a restaurant for lunch if you prefer that. I will also have tissues, a first aid kit, a cell phone, area maps, and waterproof birding pamphlets. Of course, you can bring your own guidebook if you have one.
Is there anything else I should be aware of? Are there any hazards to be concerned about?
Generally, the only safety concern is slippery trails. We will ascertain your desired hiking difficulty ahead of time to ensure that trail conditions are safe and comfortable for you. There can be some mosquitos, so you may want to bring insect repellant. There is poison oak in Oregon. If you are not familiar with poison oak, I will describe it before we set off, and point it out if we see any along the way. We'll avoid hiking through dense undergrowth to minimize the change of poison ivy exposure. There are not a lot of ticks in Western Oregon, but it is best to wear long pants when hiking to be on the safe side. There are no mountain lions or bears in the Portland area.
What's the weather like in Portland?
The weather varies depending on the time of year, of course. Portland has dry, warm summers and cool, rainy winters. As long as you dress properly, the weather is almost always conducive to outdoor activities. The following chart shows the average high and low temperatures and average precipitation by month.
Does it really rain all the time in Portland?
No, although we do have a lot of cloudy days with at least some rain in late fall, winter and early spring. The chart below shows the mean number of cloudy, partly cloudy, and sunny days per month, as well as the mean number of hours per month with measurable precipitation. As you can see, December and January are the wettest months, when it rains or snows almost 20% of the time.
Does it snow in Portland?
Portland receives an average of 7" of snow a year. Most often, if it snows in the morning, it melts by the end of the day. We usually get one serious snowstorm every year, where the snow lasts several days, and schools are closed. If you are a skier or snowboarder, Mt. Hood, which has year-round skiing, is only about 1 - 1 1/2 hours from Portland.