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Nature guides

Places and activities    Nature guides

Discover local birds, plants and animals with a little help from Metro naturalists and biologists. Find out how and where to watch wildlife and learn about the unique plants and geology of our region.

Whats' the world's heaviest flying animal? Which tree is nicknamed the "medicine man " of the forest? How did a fuzzy rodent from South America conquer the waterways of this country? What are all those birds talking about? Find out in the nature guides below.

Discover in this section

Metro nature minute videos

View short, fun videos of Metro naturalist James Davis exploring Metro parks in search of dragonflies, beavers, mushrooms, animal tracks and more...More

Sssssort out the facts and fiction of garter snakes

If you spot a snake in Oregon, chances are it's a garter snake. Telling what type of garter snake gets a little trickier. Learn how to separate fact from fiction when it comes to these snakes...More

Western gray squirrel makes a comeback

Metro naturalist James Davis tells you all about the "beautiful rodents" that are making a home in the oak woodlands of Cooper Mountain Nature Park...More

Wildlife checklists for the Portland area

Discover the birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles found in the Portland area. Download and print a checklist for your next adventure...More

Birds of prey

Metro naturalist James Davis reveals some secrets on the behavior of eagles, hawks, falcons and more...More

Binoculars 101

Metro naturalist James Davis gives wildlife watchers a crash course in how to get the most out of your "binocs."...More

Celebrate spring

From looking for skunk cabbage in Oxbow Park to spotting swooping swallows in Smith and Bybee Wetlands, Metro’s nature guide offers great spring things to do...More

Experience summer

Find out the best places to spot herons, painted turtles, and watch August’s meteor shower in Metro’s guide to nature in the summer...More

Find out about fall

The ducks, geese, swans and salmon are coming. Find out the best place to see them in Metro’s fall nature guide. And don’t miss the Harvest Moon…...More

Enjoy the winter wonderland

Find out what the winter moles are up to, how to spot both a crow’s and an Eastern fox squirrel’s nests, and where to watch red-tailed hawks and bald eagles in Metro’s winter nature guide...More

See the osprey

Osprey plunge feet first into the water, grab fish with their sharp talons, and then spread their 5½ foot wings and take off into the sky. Find out where to best view to see this feat!...More

Medicine man of the forest

The Pacific yew has been called the "medicine man" of the forest because it hides powerful medicine inside its deceptively docile appearance. Learn more about this tree’s mysteries…...More

That naughty nutria

Learn how a deceptively cute rodent from South America is wreaking havoc in our region's waterways...More

The swan's story

Learn about their mating habits and migration patterns of our regions’ Trumpeter and Tundra swans And find out where to spot them!...More

Tracking footprints

What can you learn from wild animals’ tracks? . Discover the secrets and stories they leave behind. and find out what they mean...More

Secret language of birds

Learn how to understand what birds are saying to each other and to the wildlife around them...More

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Metro sustainability

Related Links

Nature University

Learn how to help children and adults discover nature by enrolling in Metro's unique and intensive naturalist training program.

featured videos

James Davis

Metro nature minutes

View short, fun videos of Metro naturalist James Davis exploring Metro parks in search of dragonflies, beavers, mushrooms, animal tracks and more...Go

Protected by voters

Natural areas, parks and trails

Thanks to voters, Metro has preserved 12,000 acres of natural areas, protected 90 miles of rivers and streams, supported hundreds of community projects and opened three large nature parks. Learn more

Nature guide

On the floodplain of Metro's Oxbow Regional Park, one can find clear tracks of red fox, raccoon, river otter, mink, rabbit, squirrel, weasel, crow, Canada goose and many other birds on any given day. Occasionally the tracks of larger mammals such as elk, black bear and cougar are also found in this rich habitat...

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503-797-1804 TDD
503-797-1797 fax