Tag Archives: pigeon guillemot

Nesting birds at Seal Rock, Oregon Coast

Western Gulls and Cormorants nest on the rocky cliffs on the Oregon Coast.  The gulls are near the top while cormorants like a more risky location.

western gull chicks and adults
Chicks are very well camouflaged

I think seagulls hatch laughing.

western gulls
Western Gulls – HA HA HA ha ha

Cormorant chicks apparently hatch pooping.  If you see streaks of white on the cliffs, look for a nest at the top of the white streak.

Cormorant chicks on the nest
Cormorant chicks on the nest

The Great Blue Heron nests in tree tops but fish in rivers, bays and tidepools.

great blue heron tidepooling
Great Blue Heron like tidepooling for a different reason

I love the contrast of colors on the Pigeon Guillemot: black body, white patch on wings, red legs.

Pigeon Guillemot
Pigeon Guillemot

The mouth lining is also bright red-orange during courting season.  The Pigeon Guillemot is one of the few members of the auk and puffin family to lay 2 eggs.  They also feed in shallower water.

pigeon guillemot
Red mouth and red feet makes it harder to tell when foot is in mouth – which, as we know, can happen a lot during courtship
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Best weather on the Oregon Coast!

Well, that’s a matter of opinion.  After living here for a while, I like the rain and fog as much as the sunshine.  You could say the Oregon Coast is a little moody.

If you’re here for the views though, July – October is when you’ll find the clearest skies.  Of course my favorite views are between Waldport and Florence because you can see everything from Highway 101.

heceta head lighthouse
Photo-op at Heceta Head Lighthouse Overlook on Hwy 101

Today would be an awesome day for a horseback ride on the beach.

Horseback riding on Baker Beach
Horseback riding on Baker Beach

Our friends say the fishing is good.

Common Murre eating fish
Common Murre eating fish

And the livin’ is easy…

Stellar Sea Lion and Guillemot
Stellar Sea Lion and Guillemot

The Guillemot have such pretty shoes!

Nothing is just Black and White

I’m not sure if this is a metaphor or not.  I usually don’t go looking for a metaphor for life.  But, often, as I think about what I’ve observed, I can apply it to life.

Brandt's Cormorant with Common Murre
Brandt’s Cormorant with Common Murre

We’d heard reports of orcas being seen from Sea Lion Caves all week.  So we stopped at the Hwy 101 overlook, just north of there, yesterday.  As is usually the case my attention span, and the tiny specs that I have to look for in the distance for most whale watching, are directly proportional.  There’s usually something closer to see on the rocks just below the overlook.  (Another metaphor I’ve learned from the ocean:  If I spend too much time looking for great things in the distance, I miss the beauty in the small things right under my nose.)

The smaller birds with more white on them is the Common Murre.  The larger ones with the long neck is the Brandt’s Cormorant.

Brandt's Cormorant
Brandt’s Cormorant

But LOOK!  With the naked eye I think I see something blue?

Sure enough!  It’s breeding season and the male cormorants are displaying their striking, blue, chins to attract the females.

Cormorants and murres share the same general nesting areas.  The male cormorant gathers materials and brings them back to the female for her to make the nest.

Pigeon Guillemot Flock
Pigeon Guillemot Flock

So I look over another edge and see a different black and white bird.

But LOOK!  With the naked eye I think I see orange feet?  It’s the Pigeon Guillemot.  The little bit of a black bar on the white wing distinguishes the Pigeon Guillemot from the Black Guillemot.

Pigeon Guillemot
Pigeon Guillemot – Where’d you got those shoes!

See, if you really pay attention, things are usually not ALL black and white.

Common Murre
Common Murre

…except maybe the Common Murre?  But, then, maybe I just need to look closer?