Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Tufted Puffins Return to N. Oregon Coast, Cannon Beach, with 'Shock and Awe'

Published 04/11/2019 at 7:43 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Tufted Puffins Return to N. Oregon Coast, Cannon Beach, with 'Shock and Awe'

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; major specials when beaches reopen
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
major specials when beaches reopen
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
major specials when beaches reopen
In Lincoln City:
major specials when beaches reopen
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
major specials when beaches reopen
In Newport:
Look for major specials when beaches reopen
In Waldport
New amenities offered; specials coming when beaches open
In Yachats, Florence
Big specials coming; lodgings not listed anywhere else

(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – Puffins are back on the north Oregon coast, and they’re beginning to wow the crowds already. The Tufted Puffin is one especially colorful bird and it’s a much-loved icon among bird enthusiasts – even for those who don’t necessarily hold much interest in birds. These adorable creatures seem to bring out the warm ‘n fuzzies in people. (Photos courtesy Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium).

At Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock is the most coveted hotspot for viewing. Of the 20 or so spots along the Oregon coast where the somewhat rare Tufted Puffin breeds, this is where they are the closest to humans. It’s also where the Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) has their volunteers planted, helping you to spot the beautiful little cuties amble around atop the famed landmark. See the Haystack Rock Awareness Program schedule, which generally coincides with daytime low tides.

Kari Henningsgaard is the Communications Coordinator for HRAP. She says even though the bird isn’t really considered rare, it is a great surprise to many when they find out there are tufted puffins here on the Oregon coast – much less anywhere in the state. For whatever reason, there is that perception. There’s even a kind of disbelief; a resistance to the idea.

“That’s the reaction that we get all the time, just about every time,” Henningsgaard said. “They find out there are puffins here and then there is shock and awe. And then sometimes they think they’re not actually there.”

Shawn Stephensen is a biologist with US Fish and Wildlife out of its office in Newport and an expert on the Tufted Puffin. He said they are shrinking population in Oregon.

“They’re not really so rare, but their numbers have declined over the last few years,” Stephensen said. “Historically, along the Oregon coast we’ve had 5,000 but we’re down to a few hundred. They’re also found in California, Washington and Canada along the coasts. In Alaska, there’s a huge population: thousands of colonies of tufted and horned puffins in Alaska. We only get tufted puffins along the Oregon coast, although occasionally a horned puffin washes onshore from somewhere out on the ocean.”

About 20 colonies of these birds are found from one end of the Oregon coast to the other, but Stephensen said they are primarily offshore rocks far from view. Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach is a special spot because it’s so close and accessible, and at low tides you can walk right up to the rocks. HRAP even has telescopes to help you see them while its volunteers are out there.

Another good spot is Face Rock at Bandon, and Three Arch Rocks at Oceanside has the largest colony of them. It’s impossible to spot them without excellent optics, however, as the Three Arch Rocks - technically a national wildlife refuge - are quite a ways out into the ocean.

Stephensen said Haystack Rock is a “great opportunity to look at puffins close up.” It’s also where there’s a lot of study and monitoring going on.

“We estimated last year 124 puffins breed there on the rock,” he said. “They nest in burrows. We determine that by an observer that spends a minimum 20 hours a week counting the birds in air, on water and on land, documenting which burrows are active. That’s how we come up with that number.”

Henningsgaard said the birds are most active in the mornings, but tend to stay hidden the rest of the day. That may be why there’s that impression there are none around here and only in Europe (where some puffins are so plentiful they’re a common dish served in restaurants).

The height of tufted puffin season is now through July or August. Then they have usually completely disappeared by September, after which they hang out along the waters of the Oregon coast. Lodging in Cannon Beach - Where to eat - Cannon Beach Maps and Virtual Tours

More photos and video below:






More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

 

Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss

 



Coastal Spotlight


LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Comet NEOWISE Possibly Seen on Washington, Oregon Coast, Western Side
It could well be visible from Brookings to Seaside all the way up through the Olympic Peninsula. Weather
Rarity of Oregon / Washington Coast: the Trippy Mola Mola / Sunfish (Video)
Occasionally the kooky, large, semi-round fish wanders north. Sciences
Adorable Wild Seals Visible Around S. Oregon Coast Now
Cape Arago and Shore Acres hold plenty of wildlife sightings. Coos Bay, Bandon. Science
Three Awesome, Unknown Aspects of Oceanside, N. Oregon Coast Video
For such a tiny town, the village of Oceanside is crammed full of intriguing details and finds. Pacific City events, travel tips
Razor Clamming Closed in Two Parts of Oregon Coast
Razor clamming is closed from Seaside to Astoria; and from Arago southward
Bioluminescent Phytoplankton: What Makes Glowing Sand On Oregon Coast, Washin...
One of the more treasured, wondrous and surreal experiences you can have is 'glowing sand' at night. Sciences
Tornado, WWII Submarines and Motor Lodge: Oregon Coast Inns With A Past
A full dive into living Oregon coast history is a refreshing thing. Yet it's rare. Lincoln City, Newport
Wrecking the Peter Iredale: How Oregon Coast History Played Out in 1906
The wee hours of October 25 were wild and gnarly, and they were certainly chaotic if you were out to sea. Warrenton, Astoria, Washington, Seaside
Waves That Go the Wrong Direction: Weird Oregon / Washington Coast Science
The foam is heading outward, towards the sea, instead of towards land. Weather
Popular Yet Layered on Oregon Coast
Like a treasure hunt, there's more to your favorite spot than meets the eye: Warrenton, Pacific City, Depoe Bay
Officials: No Fireworks on Oregon Beaches; Washington Coast Rules, Concerns
All types are illegal on Oregon beaches, on the Washington coast there is a worry of plastic debris
Tourism In Manzanita In 1914 A Rugged But Enticing N. Oregon Coast Adventure
Manzanita and northern Tillamook County were just getting discovered and coming into their own. History
Unique But Subtle Lunar Eclipse on the 4th for Oregon, Washington Coast
It's called a penumbral lunar eclipse, meaning only the edge of the moon will get affected. Science, astronomy
Video: Two Fun and Weird Facts About Weather and the Sun on Oregon, Washingto...
What happens in fall on the beaches and what the sun does will surprise. Sciences

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted

Oregon Coast Lodging
Rentals
Specials

Dining

Events Calendar

Oregon Coast Weather

Travel News

Search for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles

Virtual Tours, Maps
Deep Details