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Party with the Puffins on S. Oregon Coast with Event That Helps You See Them, May 13

Published 05/06/23 at 5:44 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Party with the Puffins on S. Oregon Coast with Event That Helps You See Them, May 13

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(Bandon, Oregon) – Soon it will be time to party with the puffins on the south Oregon coast. They have been spotted this past week at this famous landmark and you have to see them for yourselves. (Above: photo courtesy Friends of Haystack Rock)

Shoreline Education for Awareness, Inc. (SEA) is hosting its Annual Puffin Party at Bandon's Face Rock Wayside on May 13, going from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers from SEA will be there to help you spot the colorful little critters as they make their nests, having shown up on this rock and several others on the Oregon coast to build their nests, mate and raise their young.

SEA said volunteers from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service saw the puffins finally arrive this week. If you want to see them with your own eyes, you'll likely need someone's help, however.

Photo Ram Pampish

“These birds can be hard to find because they need offshore rocks with enough soil and grass,” SEA said. “Tufted puffin nest in burrows that can be up to six feet long.”

The Oregon coast nature-oriented group will have spotting scopes zoomed in on the Bandon landmark rock, giving you a decent chance of seeing the tufted puffins and their mating colors.

“What a treat to see the feathery flapping footballs,” the SEA said.

Along the way you'll also get the chance to see other seabirds, such as the common murre, cormorants, black oyster catchers, surf scoters and maybe even the coveted peregrine falcon.

SEA noted that the population of tufted puffins on the Oregon coast has seriously dropped over the last three, four decades. Because of this, they are now harder to find, unless you know what you're looking for. Which is why the presence of an expert helps.

Their bills turn quite the color orange when breeding season comes around, SEA said, and you'll see long, yellow plumes going backwards from their white faces. Their bodies remain completely black, creating a striking contrast.

According to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), they show up in various spots around the Oregon coast, with Cannon Beach's Haystack Rock being the most accessible to the public. Coos Bay's Simpson's Reef is among the most visible spot on the southern Oregon coast, but ODFW reports they can also be spotted at times at Coquille Point.

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Photos courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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