Birding Washington County | Site Guides | Killin Wetlands
Site Guide: Killin Wetlands, Banks, Washington County, Oregon


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

Site: Killin Wetlands (Cedar Canyon Marsh)

Site ownership: Metro Regional Parks & Greenspaces, no fees at this time, access is on road & shoulders only

General directions: From Portland proceed W on US Hwy 26 (Sunset Highway) & exit to OR Hwy 6 (Wilson River Hwy) for Banks, Tillamook. Two choices become readily available. The first is to proceed to just beyond mp 46 W of Banks approx 3 mi. & turn right onto NW Cedar Canyon Rd. Continue N on Cedar Canyon Rd. which has become gravel less than 0.5 mi to the intersection of Jack Rd./Narup Rd. & folow NW Cedar Canyon Road to the right (E) for 1 mile. You've arrived at the intersection of NW Killin Rd. & NW Cedar Canyon Rd. Park at the wide spot shouldering NW Killin's E side.

Prepare to hear GREAT BLUE HERON, SORA, VIRGINIA RAIL, OR AMERICAN BITTERN right after your vehicle door closes. A slammed door often produces a vocal response from any of these species if they're nearby.

Access is limited to the road & shoulders only at this time. There is restoration work in progress so you may see volunteers performing some of that from time to time. Pets belong at home.

Alternate directions: A very pretty alternative is to use the Banks exit from OR Hwy 6 onto OR Hwy 47 through downtown Banks & turn left onto NW Cedar Canyon Rd. at the intersection flanked by the Brown Derby Restaurant on the left & a Texaco on the right. Proceed W on NW Cedar Canyon Rd. for just over 2 mi. to the intersection of NW Killin Rd. at the wetlands' W boundary.

Habitats: Killin Wetlands is bordered on its south side by OR Hwy 6. On its north side is private farmland. NW Cedar Canyon Rd. runs E-W through the marsh. The marsh is fed by Park Farms Creek & Sadd Creek. Runoff from from heavy rain & snowmelt will inundate the wetland making the viewing a totally different experience from normal water level conditions.

Season: This is a year-round site attracting a diverse multitude of species seasonally.

Comments: Killin Wetlands is a rural jewel which has a nice population of breeding AMERICAN BITTERN, SORA, & VIRGINIA RAIL. Many species of waterfowl use the area as well, most notably CINNAMON TEAL & WOOD DUCK. All of the above may be observed in their finest breeding plumage & courtship behavior as early as mid Feb. through mid May. The area also attracts many species of migrating shorebirds looking for a rest & refueling stop.

Spring also brings many nesting passerine species. On a good day one may observe PILEATED WOODPECKER, DOWNY WOODPECKER, HAIRY WOODPECKER, NORTHERN FLICKER, & RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER from one spot. Nesting MARSH WREN & the hard-working COMMON YELLOWTHROAT are other fascinating species to observe.

Hazards: Make a pit stop before arrival. There no sanitary facilities onsite. Be vigilant for speeding traffic & aware if your relative position as you observe from the road shoulders.