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News for Nature Watchers

Information from the Web site of our friends at The Wild Bird Shop

Her boyfriend's back and there's gonna be trouble!

     Rufous Hummingbirds are the nimblest and feistiest of the hummingbirds and they're migrating northward right now.  The males arrive first to get the good breeding territories and we've been seeing them chasing the Anna's Hummingbirds away from our feeders for a couple of weeks now.  Those poor Anna's are busy with their nesting and they sure don't need the hassles! The first Rufous females are just arriving, and I'm sure most of them are just passing through, too.  But if you've got good breeding habitat in your yard or in your neighborhood, maybe one will choose to stay.

Spring migration of Gray Whales
Coming soon to a lookout near you!

     The Gray Whale spring migration is just beginning to pass the Oregon Coast.  The spring (northward) migration is much more spread out than the winter (southward) one.  This early in the migration many of the whales seem to be younger ones - like teenagers who are too old to hang around with mama, but too young to breed.  They tend to be very energetic and it's a good time to see out-of-the-water displays.  Read about them and how to spot them on our Gray Whales page. Whale Watch Week
   The spring schedule is  3-20-04 through 3-27-04
   During that time hardy volunteers will be waiting at numerous coastal view points to help you spot and identify the whales.  Be sure and thank them, they do this just because they're nice people.

Waiting for puffins

     This time of year is a waiting time.  Waiting for hummingbirds, waiting for whales, waiting for puffins, waiting for all the other birds of spring.  It seems like they'll never arrive.  But they will, and the next excitement will happen when the Tufted Puffins return to Haystack Rock.  That should be around April 1st - very soon now.  They are definitely worth a trip over here to see, so read about them on our Tufted Puffin page and be ready.


Greater Yellowlegs.  Click to view a larger image.      We see a lot of small shorebirds in the winter, , and this year is no exception.  Western Sandpipers, Sanderlings, etc., can often be seen in large flocks right along the water.  Advice on finding shorebirds can be found on our shorebirding page.  And please keep your dogs from chasing them.  It is a precarious existence living on the beach right next to the water.  They don't need to expend the extra energy fleeing dogs when they should be eating.

(The bird to the left is actually a Greater Yellowlegs, seen during fall migration.)

Please read this!

     We have a lot of elk here on the coast so don't go speeding around like you are on a freeway! These huge animals absorb light and are very hard to see if they are on the road at night - and they will really mess up your car and your vacation if you hit one. An adult bull elk can stand five feet tall at the shoulder and weigh as much as 1000 pounds. So please drive carefully, especially at night.  Deer aren't so large, but there are a lot more of them, so please be careful.  I know, I keep harping and harping at it, but until you've seen the damage these animals can inflict upon a car and its occupants, and the damage a car can inflict upon them, you probably just have no idea.  Take it easy - the life you save may be your own, or a deer or elk or raccoon or black bear or...

     Many other birds and animals will show up from time to time.  Stop in at the store when you are in town and ask us what we've seen lately.  We do our best to know who is around at the time and we'll be happy to point you in the right direction.

(Click here if you wish to peruse the Nature News archives.)

Sightings - Reports of interesting birds or animals.

Birding at the Beach - Maps guide you to the best spots.

Information provided by our friends at The Wild Bird Shop

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