I spent the weekend in Klamath Falls, Oregon. My 9-year-old daughter and I arrived Saturday night and had dinner at one of the town’s fanciest restaurant, Bel Tramonto. Their gnocci was excellent, as was the eggplant lasagne. I don’t recommend the lobster ravioli, though, and I thought the chef had a bit too much penchant for fontina cheese. Tuscan style food with fontina? See what I mean?
The next day, Sunday, we spent from sun up to sun down on Sunday birding—the Klamath Basin is the best place in the state to see bald eagles. The bald eagles come to Klamath Falls in the winter, from November through March. They feast on the abundant waterfowl in the area.
“If we don’t see coyotes in that field, it means we ain’t looking,” Charlotte Ann Kisling said to us as we bumped along in her pickup truck, It was early morning and bitter cold at the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge.
Coyotes? We were there looking for bald eagles!
I had no idea that in addition to those majestic birds of prey we’d spy all sorts of wildlife that I’d never seen outside of a zoo. But bird aficionados and lay people like me, who don’t know the difference between a sparrow and a starling, come from all over the world to Klamath Falls, Oregon, to the Klamath Basin in winter to view bald eagles and other wild animals.
Though February is the best time to see them, there are so many bald eagles here that you won’t leave disappointed if you visit during any of the winter months. And while you’re in Southern Oregon in the wintertime, don’t miss snowshoeing at Crater Lake.
Getting back from Klamath Falls was harrowing and I had to buy chains before we left town. We had breakfast at Nibbley’s, renowned for its oat toast. My daughter had peach waffles and I had scrambled eggs with artichokes, spinach, and cheese (not fontina!). The drive back was awful but the toast was delicious.
ETA: Here’s my article about bald eagle viewing that I wrote for the Oregonian, which is what brought us to Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Published: December 16, 2008
Updated: January 20, 2020