Willamette Heights

Mourning Dove

Facts

  • Hilltop park (760’ elevation) near the Willamette River
  • 4.28 acres
  • Gravel parking area
  • No restrooms
  • Park hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Habitat

Historically, this area was oak savanna with a few large Douglas-fir trees. The top of the hill and the open area on the east side still have a number of oaks, but there are now many bigleaf maples and a number of Douglas-fir creating a closed, upland forest. The understory is a combination of native species and urban invasives. In addition to the forested areas, there is a shrubby, open area with blackberries in the southeast corner of the park.

Birding Highlights

Spring migration in April produces waves of warblers and other species, similar to that found on Skinner Butte in Eugene.

Mourning Dove, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Downy Woodpecker, and Steller’s Jay are regulars. Common Yellowthroat can be found in summer in the brushy areas. The open sky to the south provides good views of Turkey Vultures and winter raptors. Golden-crowned Kinglets are present in winter.

The forested areas support both Great Horned Owl and Western Screech-Owl. Black-capped Chickadees, Bewick’s Wrens, Song Sparrows, and Spotted Towhees are common all year.

Other Attractions

In early May, camas bloom on the hilltop. There is a trail around the hill beginning near the totem at the north edge of the mowed lawn.

Watch for poison oak as you walk the trail around the south side. From the hilltop vantage point, there are exceptional views of Dorris Ranch, the Willamette River, and Quarry Hill.

Below the trail a short distance is a dirt road on an undeveloped public roadway access. Property beyond this dirt road is privately owned. Undeveloped private property to the southeast currently allows wildlife to move between the Willamette River, Dorris Ranch, and Willamette Heights. Deer and other wildlife can be seen here.

Getting There

From South A Street, go south on South 2nd Street for .2 mi. Turn left on South D Street, right onto South 4th Street. When South 4th Street ends in a “T” junction, turn right on Union Street. Almost immediately, turn left onto Perry Street. This portion of the road is pretty rough. At the top of the hill, the street goes right onto Valley View Avenue. The park and adjacent gravel parking area can be seen as you come around the corner.