As you get out into the beautiful Oregon summer, you may see some new faces around. It's nesting season for some of Oregon's seabirds! With a set of binoculars or a really good set of eyes, you'll be able to spot some fuzzy young ones at numerous sites along the Oregon coast.
In the past couple weeks, we've seen gull chicks hatch and grow fairly large. These are the easiest to find and see for the casual birdwatcher. You may even see the chicks wandering around the roofs of certain houses or hotels.
Cormorants and murres are hatching at rocky outcroppings all along the coast, as well. Certain beaches are also protected for the Western snowy plover, whose nesting season runs from March 15 to September 15. Visitors to Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach and Face Rock in Bandon can check out the nesting areas of the tufted puffin through the end of August. Pigeon guillemots and oystercatchers are also around.
Despite the allure of trying to get a great view of these birds, always remember to keep a respectful distance. Disturbing seabird colonies is against the law. So make sure that you are giving them space.
Even if there isn't a sign designating a nesting area, the laws apply to any nest you come across. So be careful if you find yourself scuttling across any of Oregon's rocky or grassy coastal outcroppings.
The rise in popularity of drones is also causing problems for seabirds. Last month, a drone crash in California caused over a thousand tern eggs to be abandoned. Flying your drone may be fun for you, but just remember that you're sharing the skies with lots of other creatures.
We hope you'll be able to catch a glimpse of some of our newest winged friends. By respecting their nests, we can ensure that you'll get to see them every year.