Best Birding on the Oregon Coast
The Oregon Coast has spectacular opportunities for bird watching. Our diversity of environments – rocky shores, estuaries, beaches, wetlands and woodlands – provide critical habitat for birds. You will see year-round residents, birds migrating in the fall and spring, and birds that migrate here for the winter – or for the summer. In the spring, seabirds briefly breed and then fly out to live on the ocean’s waves. The variety of birds is truly magnificent.
We at Overleaf Lodge and Fireside Motel have a special affinity for the local birds. Each of the guest rooms at the Fireside Motel is named after some of the special birds that call this area of the Oregon Coast their home.
Yachats is a birder’s paradise. Bring your binoculars, a camera, and be mindful of the waves. Close to Yachats are many good birding sites, some of which are within walking distance of each other. The Oregon Coast Birding Trail website has maps and descriptions of even more areas, including this guide to the Central Oregon Coast.
Look for these birds around Yachats and don’t miss these other locations and outstanding bird habitats.
OREGON COAST AQUARIUM
Thirty minutes to the north of us, in Newport, the Aquarium’s Seabird Aviary provides a rare opportunity to see native birds up close. The exhibit is open-air and is the largest of its kind in North America. A live camera is available to view the birds from your home. Check here for hours of operations and closures when planning your trip.
YAQUINA HEAD OUTSTANDING NATURAL AREA
Just west of Newport, this site is designated as a global Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society. Situated on a basalt headland jutting out into the ocean, the area also features a lighthouse, wildlife viewing decks and an interpretive center. You can see nesting colonies of the Common Murre, Brandt’s Cormorant and Pigeon Guillemot. In the winter, watch for Peregrine falcons, Red-tailed hawks, American kestrels and shorebirds, including surfbirds, black turnstones, meadowlarks, scoter, and grebes. The natural area website offers an overview and photos of birds you are likely to see.
BOILER BAY STATE SCENIC VIEWPOINT
A rugged, basalt-rimmed bay with panoramic views, this site is one of the best for watching sea birds. It is located about 50 minutes north of Yachats, just north of Depot Bay. Watch for shearwaters, jaegers, albatrosses, grebes, pelicans, loons, oystercatchers and murrelets. You are also likely to see gray whales year-round, as a pod of about 40 whales lives off this area of the coast.
FLORA & FAUNA