Rugged and largely undeveloped, Oregon’s south coast lures birders to view wildlife seldom encountered. The Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge is protected habitat for 1.2 million nesting seabirds.
The South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve near Charleston, with its 5,000 acres of saltwater marshes and mixed conifer forest, attracts Band-tailed Pigeons and Wrentits.
In April and August, Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge attracts rare shorebirds and is a feeding and resting stopover for migrating Pacific Golden-Plover, Dunlin, and Whimbrel.
Visit Oregon’s Adventure Coast in September for the annual Oregon Shorebird Festival . You’ll find field trips, talks, and a forum for all skill levels to share and exchange stories. Founded by the Cape Arago Audubon Society, and sponsored by several groups, you can expand your knowledge, and spend a long summer weekend on the Coast - what could be better?
The Simpson Reef Interpretive Stop: On Charleston’s Cape Arago Highway Loop, enjoy excellent views of Oregon’s largest haul-out of seals and sea lions.
Shell Island: Part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Shell Island offers viewing of Northern Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals, and Stellar Sea Lions. California Sea Lions take over Cape Arago every fall.
Simpson Beach: Directly below Shore Acres State Park, a path leads to a secluded cove that provides great whale watching and a different view of Shell Island.
Each Winter and Spring, visitors flock to see gray whales migrate between Mexico and the Bering Sea. Shore Acres and Cape Arago State parks offer some of the coast’s best whale-watching.