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A Guide to Bend’s Abundant Wildlife

Published on August 10, 2023

Here in this flourishing, forested corner of Oregon, just 15 miles south of Bend, Caldera Springs offers an uncompromising wilderness escape. From majestic birds soaring across bluebird skies to elusive mammals tracking their way through the woods, our prime location offers a unique chance to encounter an array of fascinating creatures. Not sure what to keep an eye out for this summer? Here are the animals you might be lucky to spot both in and beyond our gates. 

Bald Eagles

One of the most iconic birds in North America, the bald eagle can be spotted in and around Caldera Springs throughout all four seasons. These majestic raptors, with their distinctive white heads and dark bodies, are often seen perched high in trees near bodies of water like Obsidian Lake, Caldera’s largest lake, and the nearby Deschutes River. Keep an eye out for their impressive aerial displays as they soar through the sky, fishing for their next meal.

Image courtesy traveloregon.com

Mule Deer

Bend is home to a thriving population of mule deer, which are known for their large ears and graceful movements. These herbivores can be found in Caldera’s surrounding forests and open spaces, especially during early morning and late evening hours. Remember to observe them from a distance to avoid disturbing their natural behavior and to ensure their safety!

River Otters

If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a playful river otter along the Deschutes River or its tributaries. With their sleek bodies and webbed feet, these semi-aquatic mammals are excellent swimmers and divers. Observe them from a distance and avoid approaching too closely, as they’re sensitive to human disturbance.

Image courtesy oregonshores.com

Great Horned Owls

Known for their distinctive “hoot” call, the great horned owls are nocturnal creatures that inhabit the forests in and around Bend. These large and powerful raptors are highly skilled hunters and play an essential role in the local ecosystem by controlling rodent populations. Keep your ears open during quiet evenings for their haunting calls, and if you’re lucky, you might spot one perched on a tree branch.

Western Painted Turtles

Bend’s rivers and lakes are also home to the fascinating reptile that is the Western painted turtle. With their colorful shells and distinctive markings, these turtles can often be seen basking on rocks or logs along the water’s edge. As with all wildlife, it’s important to admire them from a distance and refrain from disturbing their habitat.

Image courtesy audobonportland.com

Ruffed Grouse

For the birdwatchers out there, the forests surrounding Caldera Springs and nearby Bend offer the opportunity to spot the ruffed grouse. These ground-dwelling birds are known for their elaborate courtship displays and drumming sounds created by rapidly beating their wings. Take a walk along our hiking trails and you might be fortunate enough to witness their mesmerizing behaviors.

Oh, and did we mention that Caldera Springs owners have easy access to the Sunriver Nature Center? Here, kids and adults alike can learn about and explore our native species through exhibits, tours, daily activities and so much more. And stay tuned for our new Discovery Trail signs that will be scattered throughout Caldera’s 9+ miles of trails! 

Ready to make this coveted forest escape home? Get in touch with our sales team at sales@calderasprings.com or 541.593.3000 today.

Further Reading