Coastal Birds of Oregon Make a Showing This Month
(Oregon Coast) - If you're looking for swallows, hummingbirds and common murres, the Oregon coast is the place to be this month. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) said now is a good time to keep a look out for these lovely creatures.
“The first tree swallows of spring are showing up on the Oregon coast,” ODFW said in a recent wildlife report. “A colorful harbinger of spring, the hardy tree swallow arrives from the south during February each year. It is a highly social species that is usually observed in large flocks often with violet-green and other swallow species.”
Tree swallows like open places near water and they are not usually seen in residential neighborhoods or built-up urban areas. Unlike other swallows, this type eats berries and small seeds as well as insects.
Above: common murres gather near Florence, but you can see these and many other coastal birds around Yachats, Waldport, Newport, Depoe Bay, Lincoln City, Pacific City, Oceanside, Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, Wheeler, Cannon Beach, Seaside, Warrenton and Astoria.
Spring brings pink salmonberries blossoming along the Oregon coast, and this coaxes in a kind of hummingbird called the Rufous hummingbird. This type nests much farther north than others of its kind.
Most Rufous hummingbirds winter in wooded areas in the Mexican state of Guerrero, traveling more than 2,000 miles to get here. This is no small feat, considering these birds only weigh three or four grams.
“They often stay in one spot for considerable time and often aggressively take over and defend feeding locations,” ODFW said.
In fact, many coastal residents note how these hummingbirds often chase others out of their yards.
Now is the time of year when common murres start appearing in larger numbers, ODFW said. They start staging - where thousands gather together to re-establish pair bonds and find nesting sites. Between 8,000 and 9,000 murres gather around Yaquina Head most years.
Cape Meares, near Oceanside: the cliffs here are excellent for bird watching.
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