Photographer: Russ Namitz
Bird enthusiasts from all over the country are packing their bags and headed our way this week for the The Cape Arago Audubon Society’s 27th Annual Oregon Shorebird Festival August 23-25, 2013. The event attracts bird lovers of all skill levels and features field trips, talks, and a forum for all skill levels to share and exchange stories.
After a full day of expertly guided field trips to Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, Millicoma Marsh and the greater Coos Bay area, festival attendees will gather at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) in Charleston, OR for evening programs.
If you are unable to make it to the Oregon Shorebird Festival this weekend, you can always create your own Oregon Coast Birding experience! The Southern Oregon Coast has a diverse range of species (approximately 394 in fact) and beautiful locations to view rare birds in their natural habitat.
Here are some perfect bird watching spots to visit:
Millicoma Marsh: Birders come here to see species rarely sighted in Oregon during the winter, such as the Orange-crowned Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Marbled Godwit, and American Bittern.
The South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve: With its 5,000 acres of saltwater marshes and mixed conifer forest, South Slough attracts Band-tailed Pigeons and Wrentits. Join an interpreter and venture into the Reserve in search of winged wildlife on the first Saturday of each month.
Cape Arago State Park: This is the best location in the Coos Bay area to ocean scope for pelagic bird species. In addition, there are many other species of ducks, grebes, loons, alcids and rockpipers visible.
Simpson Reef Overlook and Shell Island: The reef and the island are part of The Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, a protected habitat for 1.2 million nesting seabirds. Western Gulls and Pelagic Cormorants build nests on Shell Island. Cormorant nests are built on the narrow ledges, and chicks hatch in July. Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagles and Osprey may be seen in the summer
Pony Slough in North Bend: Sightings at Pony Slough in North Bend have included Marbled Godwits, Pacific Golden-Plovers, and other birds including Peregrine Falcon, Bald Eagle, Great Egret, and many species of waterfowl.
Additional tips and locations can be found on www.birdingoregon.info and on these Oregon Coast Birding resources:
- Cape Arago Audubon Society, Coos County, Oregon
- Oregon Birders Online
- Birding Site Guide of Oregon
- Oregon Coast Birding Trails
- South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
- Coos Watershed Association
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service