Shorebirds, Pacific Northwest
Walking along any of our coastal beaches, in the early morning, just at daylight at low tide you can see and hear many of shorebirds that frequent our coast. The squawk of the great blue heron as it takes to flight in the early morning light or sandpipers running up and down the beach with each wave. So take a walk walk on one of the many beaches. I am sure you will enjoy it.
Take some time to wander around the shores of various types of waterways and keep your eyes open and you just might see some very beautiful birds.
The Pacific Northwest Coastal Region has many shorebirds, all are fascinating to observe. An estimated two million shorebirds migrate annually through our area to and from their breeding grounds in the arctic, many more breed and nest along our coast. Some species fly for days without rest or food and travel thousands of km to reach their breeding grounds. They arrive on our coast in the spring and leave in the fall.
Shorebirds frequent estuaries, small offshore islands and coastal dunes. They must have food, protection from predators and roosting areas which are conveniently close to their feeding sites to be able to breed, generally at or above the high tide mark. Shorebird breeding and feeding areas are often in the same areas where people like to go to hike or picnic, swim or fish, so we must take care to not disturb these birds, each time these birds are disturbed and they take flight, they burn up energy that is needed for care taking the young and for migrating to their winter grounds.
Walking the shores of the pacific northwest during the winter months is the best time to see shorebirds.