Pacific Coast Scenic Byway – Oregon, with rocky tidepools, beaches, dunes, estuaries, and old-growth forest, provides a haven for a multitude of birds both rare and common. The Federal government protects around 320 miles of the Oregon coastline specifically to manage the coastline for healthy bird populations. Due to birding's rapidly growing popularity, the byway's communities provide many ways to enjoy it. Take a boat tour to an island for a closer glimpse at shorebirds and seabirds, watch for birds of prey along cliff edges, and paddle through a wetland in search of waterfowl.
Discover shorebirds and seabirds where the Oregon coast meets the Pacific. Seabird viewing shines at Coquille Point in the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Look for Tufted Puffins floating on the ocean's surface. The state's largest breeding colony of Tufted Puffins congregates at Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge along with Fork-tailed Storm-petrels and Brandt's Cormorant. Shorebirds like Western and Least Sandpipers, various plovers, and the rare Ruff, passing through Oregon after wintering in Africa, populate Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.
Raptors also call coastal Oregon home, at least temporarily, along the byway. Springtime in Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge brings a unique opportunity to watch nesting Peregrine Falcons. The refuge offers an observation deck to view the nesting falcons' eyrie. Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge hosts its own varieties of birds of prey. Keep an eye on tree snags for roosting Red-tailed Hawks and Bald Eagles. Harry Potter fans might especially appreciate a glimpse of the elusive Snowy Owl along the byway. Take care to park somewhere safe, as the refuge lacks public parking.
Siletz Bay's estuaries attract waterfowl like the massive Great Blue Heron and the striking Great Egret. In the estuary waters where the river meets the sea you'll witness flyovers by thousands of geese and tens of thousands of ducks. Common Teals and Tufted Ducks bring birders specifically to the byway due to their rarity in the remaining lower 48 states. For a more social birding experience, rub shoulders with fellow shorebird aficionados at the annual Oregon Shorebird Festival held in late summer or early fall.
For world-class birding in a stunning natural environment, schedule a trip to Pacific Coast Scenic Byway – Oregon. Click over to the Oregon Coast Birding Trail website for help planning a day, weekend or longer visit. With over 450 species of birds living or migrating through the area, you'll want to return again and again!
- Copyright © July 2007 Bob Ward.
- Copyright © 2006 John Mocko.
- Copyright © February 2002 Bureau of Land Management.