The Great Basin spadefoot is a species of toad. Adult spadefoots are gray with light lines along the back and light colored bellies. Their skin has abundant dark colored small bumpy spots. They have a single, black, hard spade on the heel of each hind foot. Adult females are larger than males, growing to two-and-a-half inches in length. Great Basin spadefoots live in dry sagebrush, grasslands and woodlands with sandy soils near ponds. Though they live in semi-arid habitats, they love the rain and damp weather. They spend most of the year in underground burrows that they dig quite efficiently
Adult Northern leopard frogs have smooth skin that is green or brown and covered with dark brown spots outlined with white rings. Females grow to just over four inches in length; males are slightly smaller at just over three inches. They live in and near various water sources with abundant vegetation such as wet meadows, marshes, riparian areas and moist, open woodlands. These frogs use the vegetation, such as grasses, sedge, weeds or brush, as cover from predators. During the winter, they need ponds or slow-running streams for hibernation. Photo from ODFW
Few seabirds have been labeled "stunning;" but with their graceful flight, boldly patterned upperparts, and brilliant white underparts, these birds truly are one of the most beautiful in Oregon waters. They have a black cap, wings angled forward, long body and tail, and a unique dark 'M' pattern against light gray back and wings. Often seen in small groups mixed among other more abundant shearwaters, they sometimes form pure flocks all flying in gracefully synchronized flight. While regular in Oregon in late fall, they are still uncommon enough to excite observers when encountered at sea. Photo by Tony Morris, Flickr
The Turkey vulture, known locally as a "buzzard," is a common sight spring through fall throughout the state, except in the highest mountains and featureless desert expanses in summer where they are uncommon. Seeing Turkey vultures returning is a welcome sign of spring. Turkey vultures are large-winged soaring birds with overall dark plumage except for a silvery sheen on the undersides of the flight feathers. Adults have small, featherless, red heads, while juveniles have gray heads. The Turkey vulture is a common to abundant transient throughout the state and an uncommon to common summer resident except in high mountains. It
This is a large and power falcon. The majority of Gyrfalcons seen in Oregon are immatures or adults of the "gray" type, but there are several reports of "white" birds. The Gyrfalcon is a regular winter visitant to Oregon. The majority of sightings come from coastal and Willamette Valley lowlands near waterfowl concentrations. Individuals have been seen chasing and feeding on geese, ducks and gulls. Gyrfalcons forage by flying low over the ground and flushing prey, then often giving spectacular tail chases. If a bird refuses to flush the hunt is usually unsuccessful. East of the Cascades it occurs around
This is a portly, brightly colored shorebird, typically found in coastal salt marshes, mud flats, and sandy margins of freshwater ponds. Migrant juveniles rather than adults appear in Oregon. They have a flattish, dark rufous-colored crown with fine black streaking. The crown gives the appearance of a jaunty "cap" sitting forward on the head and abruptly ending at the rear. The breast is rich orange-buff shading into the white lower breast and belly. The well-defined creamy-white supercilium broadens behind the eye and is visible at a considerable distance. This is one of the most distinctive field marks on juveniles. They
The male Ruff is a relatively large, distinctive, Eurasian shorebird that in breeding plumage sports head tufts and neck plumes from which it gained its name. However, most Ruffs seen in Oregon are juveniles that appear as lanky, buff-colored, pot-bellied, short-billed sandpipers showing white on both sides of the rump in flight. Females are about 20 percent smaller than males and are referred to as reeves. It is usually found on mudflats of coastal estuaries and adjoining wet meadows. The Ruff takes mostly aquatic insects, but will take crustaceans, mollusks, and some worms as well. The Ruff is a rare
This shrew is the largest member of the genus in North America. Truly a water shrew, it swims easily both on the surface and while submerged, mostly by alternate strokes of the hind feet. When leaving the water, it literally springs from the surface. In Oregon, it occurs in the northern Cascade Range in Clackamas, Hood River, and Multnomah counties, then west in Clatsop, Columbia, and Washington counties along the Columbia River, and southeasterly from Newport through Benton, Lane, Linn, Jackson and Klamath counties. Habitats include alder in riparian zones, skunk cabbage marshes, deep, dark, red cedar swamps, floating mats
The Merriam's shrew is the smallest shrew in Oregon. This brownish shrew has a short, truncated skull and is medium dark-brown on the dorsum and pinkish white on the venter; the tail is sharply bicolored in the same tones as the body with dark and light portions about equal. In Oregon, it has been found in Grant, Harney, Lake, and Wasco counties. It occupies drier habitats and is reported to be associated with sagebrush-bunchgrass habitats.
The Pacific shrew is the only shrew in Oregon without a tine on the anteromedial surface of the first upper incisor but with a posteriomedial ridge visible in anterior view through the gap between the incisors. It is a large brown shrew with the third unicuspid smaller than the fourth. The species is often found in moist wooded areas with fallen decaying logs and brushy vegetation. It is endemic to Oregon and is distributed as two disjunct populations: one in the Coast Range from Cascade Head, Tillamook County, south to Coos Bay, Coos County and eastward to Philomath, Benton County
Preble's shrew is the smallest shrew in Oregon; adults commonly weigh less than a dime. The pelage is medium dark-brown to very dark-gray on the dorsum and silvery gray on the venter. The tail is bicolored, medium dark-brown on the dorsal surface, white on the ventral surface and darkening toward the tip. In Oregon, it has been found in Deschutes, Grant, Klamath, Lake, Harney, Malheur, and Wallowa counties. Its habitats include marshes, along streams, dry bunchgrass, and wet, alkaline habitat. Grasses and sagebrush are common to most habitats.
Trowbridge's shrew is a medium-sized shrew, distinguished from other Oregon shrews by its dark-brown or grayish black pelage on both dorsum and venter, and its sharply bicolored tail, white below and dark brown or grayish black above. In Oregon, its range is west and south of a line connecting Parkdale, Hood River County; Pine Grove, Wasco County; Alder Spring, Lane County; Diamond Lake, Douglas County; Gearhart Mountain, Lake County; and Lakeview, Lake County. It occurs in all stages of the coniferous forest from old growth to recent clear-cuttings.
The Northern pocket gopher is the other small pocket gopher in Oregon. Its dorsal pelage ranges from a rich brown to a yellowish brown or buffy gray; the venter is lighter and usually washed with buff. This gopher builds extensive burrow systems which consist of both near-surface and deep runways connected by a vertical shaft. The nest cavity is commonly situated in the deep runway with blind tunnels radiating from near the nest that are used for food storage and as a latrine. The Northern pocket gopher occurs throughout Oregon east of the Cascade Range.
The Rocky Mountain tailed frog’s coloring often matches the color of local rocks ranging from brown or reddish-brown to gray. They have grainy textured skin that further enhances their camouflage. Males have a short tail, the signature for tailed frogs. Adult males are slightly smaller than adult females that grow to two inches in length. Rocky Mountain tailed frogs are found in the water or close by it. They live in very shallow and heavily shaded water of fast-flowing, small, permanent streams in older mountain forests with cold and clear water, rocky substrates and little silt. These streams are often
These large toads are well camouflaged in earth tones with dry bumpy skin that aids in protection from predators. Their color can be highly variable among individuals ranging from gray or reddish-brown to yellow or green. They have a light colored stripe that runs along the center of the back. Adult female toads are larger than males, growing to five inches in length. They live mainly on land in a range of habitats from forests to mountain meadows to desert flats. During the non-breeding season, they are nocturnal. They dig their own burrows in loose soil, use existing burrows or
Adults have smooth, moist skin that is brown or reddish-brown in color with black flecks on their backs, sides and legs. They may also have a dark colored mask. Adults have red underlegs, hence their name. Females, growing to four inches in length, are almost twice the size of males. Adult red-legged frogs like cool damp coniferous or deciduous forests and forested wetlands. During the non-breeding season, adult frogs spend most of their time on land in woodlands along streams, in moist sedge or brush, along shaded pond edges or under logs and other forest debris. Damp weather permits them
Adult Oregon spotted frogs have moist bumpy skin that is reddish-brown on their topsides. On their heads, backs, sides and legs, they have black spots with light centers that darken with age. They also have red bellies and orange-red underlegs. Adult females grow to four inches in length and males to three inches. Oregon spotted frogs live in wet areas that provide abundant aquatic vegetation such as marshes, permanent ponds, lake edges and slow streams. When frightened, they hide in dense vegetation or under debris at the bottom of shallow wetlands. Adult frogs hibernate during the winter in freeze-free seeps
Adult frogs have moist bumpy skin that is tan or olive-green colored on their topsides. On their heads, backs, sides and legs, they have dark spots with light centers that darken with age. They also have red bellies and orange-red underlegs. Adult females grow to four inches in length and males to three inches in length. Columbia spotted frogs live in wet areas that provide abundant aquatic vegetation such as marshes, permanent ponds, lake edges and slow streams. When frightened, they hide in dense vegetation or under debris at the bottom of shallow wetlands. Adult frogs overwinter in springs, spring-fed
Adult frogs are gray or brown with yellow underbellies and thighs. Their color and grainy textured rough-looking skin helps camouflage them, making them hard to see among rocks. Adults can grow to three inches in length; males are slightly smaller than females. Foothill yellow-legged frogs live in or along edges of permanent streams and rivers with exposed rocky streambeds and off-channel waters that are slow flowing and quiet. In summer, they are likely to hide under rocks in streams or among clumps of vegetation along pools. They use rocks or debris at the bottom of the streams as refuge from
The Townsend's vole is a large vole with large ears that extend above the fur, a long brownish or blackish tail and brownish or blackish feet equipped with brown claws. In Oregon, it has been found along the Pacific Coast south to southern Coos County, throughout the Willamette Valley with eastward extensions along the Columbia River to near Hood River; the McKenzie River to Douglas County; and the Rogue River to Prospect, Jackson County. With few exceptions, Townsend's vole is associated with moist habitats: meadows, lowland pastures, riparian zones, boggy lands, marshes, and irrigated fields densely vegetated with grasses and