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Cuteness Overload: Tufted Puffins Returning, Cannon Beach and N. Oregon Coast Celebrations

Published 3/07/24 at 6:25 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Cuteness Overload: Tufted Puffins Returning, Cannon Beach and N. Oregon Coast Celebrations

(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – Cute, cute, cute and more cuteness: that's what's coming to the north Oregon coast town of Cannon Beach soon, as dozens of tufted puffins will start returning in April. The colorful and charismatic seabird that nests on soil-topped islands and cliffsides will again be putting on their charms, along with their little ones. (Photo courtesy Barb and Larry Hauser)

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Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) will be hosting its annual Puffin Welcome Celebration on April 13th, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Cannon Beach's Haystack Rock.

“We celebrate the return of the tufted puffins to Haystack Rock for nesting season,” said HRAP. “This event offers a day packed with educational activities, talks, and a chance to witness the beauty of these iconic sea birds. Whether you're a seasoned birder or a curious beachgoer, there is something for everyone.”

Event Schedule

8:00-12:00 PM: Open House

● Learn more about the Haystack Rock Awareness Program, the Wildlife Center of the
North Coast, and Friends of Haystack Rock. 9:00 - 9:30 AM: Puffinology 101: Exploring the world of Tufted Puffins

● Join us for a 30-minute discussion on tufted puffins! (Available on Instagram/FB live) 10:00 - 10:30 AM: Puffin Pursuit: Master the art of spotting tufted puffins

● Learn the best tips and tricks for spotting tufted puffins. Scopes and binoculars will be provided. 10:45 - 11:00 AM: “Feathered Journey: The Challenges in a life of a Tufted Puffin.”

● Become a tufted puffin! Learn the challenges our feather friends face through this interactive game. 11:30: Tufted Puffin Costume Contest

● Don your finest tufted puffin costume for a chance to win swag generously donated by Friends of Haystack Rock and Salty Raven. All participants must check-in at the main table by 10:00 AM. The winner will be announced at 11:30 AM.

The upper latitude of the North Pacific Ocean is where the famed and beloved tufted puffins (Fratercula cirrhata) live. They breed in a wide range of areas, from California to Alaska, and from Japan to Siberia. Tufted puffins are seabirds that live on the open ocean, about 150 to 200 miles away from shore.

Photo courtesy Friends of Haystack Rock

Only returning to land when it is time to breed, this is when they can be spotted along the Oregon coast. From April to August, tufted puffins can be seen at Haystack Rock - the largest publically visible colony of these birds in the state.

Photo courtesy Friends of Haystack Rock

At Bandon's Face Rock area is another spot they show up but they are more difficutl to see. South Oregon coast experts hold a puffin watching day there as well – stay tuned to Oregon Coast Beach Connection for that date when it comes up.

Here in Cannon Beach, the lovely creatures make their nests in the grassy field on the rock’s north and west side, by digging burrows.

Their numbers have dropped much in the last twenty years, especially in the southern portion of their range. Some of the reasons why tufted puffins are declining are climate change, loss or damage of their habitat, more predators, and less food.

For more information, please visit or contact Mylasia Miklas, Haystack Rock Awareness Program Communications Coordinator, at 503-436-8079 or email

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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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