Birding Washington County | Site Guides | Jackson Bottom
Site Guide: Jackson Bottom, Hillsboro, Washington County, Oregon


Submitted by: Dennis E. Manzer on Sunday, February 15, 2004

Site: Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Site ownership: City of Hillsboro, managed in consort with Clean Water Services

General directions: The N view stand of JBWP is located approximately 0.5 mi. S from downtown Hillsboro's intersection of OR Hwy 8 (TV Hwy) & OR Hwy 219 (S 1st St). Proceed another 0.8 mi. S to the visitor center to the 2600 S 1st St address.

Alternate directions: From US Hwy26 use exit 57 in North Plains. It is labeled Glencoe Rd. Proceed S over rolling & level farmland to Hillsboro. The name of the road changes from Glencoe Rd. to S 1st St. to OR Hwy 219. See above for further directions from downtown.

Stouthearted walkers can arrive in downtown Hillsboro via MAX light rail & by debarking the Hatfield Transit Center can walk to JBWP by staying on S 1st St. Proceeding S the N view stand is less than one mile away.

Habitats: The preserve comprises 710 combined acres of wetland, riparian, riverine, farmland and upland habitat. JBWP is an oficially designated OR Important Bird Area. The diversity of habitat offers a secure home and resting area for migratory as well as resident passerines, waders, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, and upland birds. A few Eurasian accidentals occasionally stop by as well.

The preserve features three covered viewing platforms for all-weather use. The one at the North end is wheelchair accessible. All are generously designed with the scope and binocular users accommodated with expansive views.

There are over 2 miles of easy walking semi-improved (graded and bark-chipped) trails to enjoy. Some may be temporarily inaccessible after heavy runoff due to wetland flooding. These trails will guide one along the river/riparian zone or the riparian/marsh habitat, or the woodlot/meadow scene. Each is host to a distinct group of species with transitional overlap.

Season: This is a year-round site because of its diverse habitat. It consistently produces around 75% of the 100 or so species found on the Christmas Bird Count for Washington County. For those on a limited time schedule JBWP is a "Must See" opportunity.

Comments: Easily the most viewable BALD EAGLE nest in the county is seen from the N view stand. The adults are present from early Oct. through early Aug. Mid April to mid July visits will almost certainly be rewarded with rich observations of the adults & provided that they successfully rear their young you will also see the offspring.

Other nesting species which can be seen without disturbance if observed ethically include COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, SONG SPARROW, MARSH WREN, WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, BUSHTIT, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, AMERICAN ROBIN, BARN SWALLOW, VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, TREE SWALLOW, GREAT BLUE HERON, MALLARD, CANADA GOOSE, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, & KILLDEER among many others.

Plant and tree life is plentiful and diverse. A botanist could have a big party. Reptiles are represented by gopher and garter snakes. Western Pond Turtle is occasionally found. Pacific Chorus Frogs are abundant as are many butterflies. There are probably others awaiting your discovery.

Hazards: No dogs, alcohol or bicycles are allowed on the preserve. Visitors must remain on the trails. A known poisonous species is POISON HEMLOCK which is abundant & be advised to supervise & educate your children to not touch it. There are other berry-producing plants which present a toxicity threat as well.