Shorebird Migration – The Spring Spectacle on The Coast

Posted by OCVA / January 27, 2011

April and May bring hundreds of thousands shorebirds to the Oregon Coast, creating a “stopover” spectacle as they wing their way to the arctic to breed. Western Sandpiper, Dunlin Black-bellied Plover, Whimbrel, and Buff Breasted Sandpiper are among the huge throngs you’ll see in the coastal estuaries of Tillamook Bay, Netarts Bay, Nestucca, Yaquina Bay and Bandon Marsh. In April Tufted Puffins, a comical charmer, return to Haystack Rock off Cannon Beach and Face Rock in Bandon, and thousands of hardy Common Murres start “rafting up” on the waves before coming onshore to nest. Murres literally cover coastal rocks and islands from late April through July while raising their chicks.

Peregrine Falcons nest every April, like clockwork, at Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge near Tillamook. From a terrific viewing platform you can watch the falcons incubating their eggs during April and May, baby chicks hatching on Mother’s Day, and raising their chicks through June.

Spring also heralds the colorful return of songbirds from Central and South America – Rufous Hummingbird, Blackheaded Grosbeak, Western Tanager, dozens of species of warblers take up residence along coastal trails. Great places to view them include South Slough/Charleston, the Mike Miller Educational Trail/Newport, and Ecola and Fort Stevens State Parks. www.oregoncoastbirding.com

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