Registration Opens April 2 for the 8th Dean Hale Woodpecker Festival in Sisters.


Registration will open on April 2 for the 8th annual Dean Hale Woodpecker Festival taking place in Sisters, Oregon from May 31- June 3.    Festival participants have a choice of 20 guided tours in search of 11 different species of woodpeckers and 200 other birds that make the forests, burn areas and diverse habitat of Sisters and Central Oregon a birding hot spot.  The East Cascades Audubon Society (ECAS) sponsors the Festival. Each trip, guided by two ECAS volunteers, includes a limited number of fellow birders and tour registration fills up fast.


According to Sherrie Pierce, a festival organizer,  “Sisters and the Santiam Pass regions have witnessed many forest fires, like the Pole Creek Fire in 2012, the Bridge 99 fire in 2014 and the Milli fire last summer.  Because burned areas attract bugs, which, in turn, attract woodpeckers, participants have a chance to see not only common woodpeckers like Hairy and Downy but also much rarer species like White-headed, American Three-toed, and Black-backed Woodpeckers. Few places in the United States are as rich in such a variety of woodpeckers as this area of central Oregon.”


Full day trips are $35 while half-day trips and the Night Owl Prowl are $25.  Tours include an all day trip to Summer Lake on Thursday.  On Friday there will be a birding tour to the Crooked River Country and a different trip to the Shevlin Park/Awbrey Hall Burn.


Birding trips are all day on Saturday and mornings on Sunday.  The tours go to places such as Three Creeks, Pole Creek, Cold Springs, the Milli Burn, Camp Sherman, Glaze Meadow, Indian Ford, Suttle Lake and Bridge 99, as well as several other excellent birding areas.  Both weekend days also provide limited mobility birding tours for folks who would like a leisurely pace, use a wheelchair or prefer to walk short distances.


In addition to the birding tours, the festival offers a native plants/birding tour on Saturday and, on Sunday, an opportunity to experience the bird banding of kestrels and bluebirds.  The festival will sponsor an Owl Prowl on Saturday night as well as a social gathering at the Belfry in Sisters. Tours take place under a special use permit with the Deschutes National Forest.  Participants provide their own transportation and carpooling is required.


For information about the Dean Hale Woodpecker Festival, details on the birding tours or to register for the festival go to

or email to


About the East Cascades Audubon Society: The East Cascades Audubon Society (ECAS) is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to further the knowledge and appreciation of birds and their habitats through field trips and education programs. Besides outreach to the community for the enjoyment and study of birds, ECAS also actively participates in field studies, data collection programs and other conservation projects to help protect local bird populations. Join ECAS and help preserve the birds in the Central Oregon region at