Annotated Checklist of Expected Seabirds on Oregon Pelagic Trips

Printable abundance bar chart

This annotated bird checklist lists the expected offshore pelagic birds found on pelagic trips from the central Oregon coast.

Brief annotations describe the annual status, peak detection season, peak numbers, and distribution (distance offshore). If they breed along the Oregon coast this is briefly mentioned. Response to boats and chum is given for selected species that are often seen when stopping the boat to chum.

The semimonthly bar chart shows average abundance in half-month intervals: Common, Uncommon, Rare, Absent. On an all day pelagic trip--offshore at least 20 miles, one should expect to see all or most of the seabirds listed as Common, and in fairly good numbers. Likewise, one should expect many of the birds listed as Uncommon, though perhaps in small numbers. Birds graphed as Rare are expected during the time shown, but not on every trip.

Pelagic birds: Laysan Albatross
Laysan Albatross Phoebastria immutabilis
Uncommon winter and spring visitor, generally >25 miles offshore. Found primarily from mid October to mid May, peak from January through March when seen on about 75% of trips and up to 8 individuals. Very rare in summer and early fall. Less attracted to chum and boats than Black-footed Albatross.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
Pelagic birds: Black-footed Albatross
Black-footed Albatross Phoebastria nigripes
Expected every trip. Common March to October, Rare in winter, >15 miles offshore. Most common about 25-40 miles offshore. Typical pelagic trip numbers are about 65 birds. Peak numbers around fishing vessels may reach 500 birds. Highly attracted to chum and boats.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Short-tailed Albatross Phoebastria albatrus
Very Rare visitor. Nearly extinct in the early 20th century; population grew to about 1200 birds by the year 2000. Only all-dark immatures, less than 3 years of age, expected, October to March.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis
Expected every trip. Common in fall, variably Uncommon to Rare from April to July. Sometimes seen from shore, especially in late fall and winter. Most common 25-40 miles offshore. Trip numbers up to 3500 possible in later fall. Do not flock, but often congregate behind active fishing boats. Highly attracted to chum and fishing vessels.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Pink-footed Shearwater Puffinus creatopus
Expected every trip from March-October. Common; builds in numbers from March to October. Absent in winter. Most abundant 5-20 miles offshore. Trip numbers usually from 50-200, occasionally up to 3500 in later fall.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Flesh-footed Shearwater Puffinus carneipes
Rare August and September, Uncommon in October (found on about 40% of trips), Very Rare in spring. Peak numbers to 7 birds in October, otherwise singles are usual. Most often seen offshore 30 miles or more. Sometimes attracted to chum.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Bullerís Shearwater Puffinus bulleri
Uncommon in August, Common in September and October. Peak numbers to 300 birds in later fall, though 15-40 typical. Much less common in some years. Most common 5-20 miles offshore.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus
Expected every trip March-October. Arrive in March, build in numbers to August and remain Common through October. Late summer flocks near shore may number in the tens or hundreds of thousands, but pelagic trips from Newport typically number only in the mid hundreds of individuals. Sometimes attracted to fishing vessels. Most abundant 3-15 miles offshore.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Short-tailed Shearwater Puffinus tenuirostris
Rare September, Rare to Uncommon October to April (seen on up to 80% of March trips). More attracted to chum than other shearwaters. Small flocks may be seen from shore from late October to early January. Usually only a few individuals seen on pelagic trips from shore to 40 miles offshore.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus
Very Rare March to May, September-October, 1-20 miles offshore. Becoming more frequent since 2000. Often seen from shore in late spring. Averages about 6 total sightings per year in Oregon.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma furcata
Expected every trip March-October. Variably Common to Uncommon, March to October. Found from 12 to 50 miles offshore. Generally small numbers seen on most trips, but larger numbers, including flocks of hundreds, may occasionally be noted in spring and fall. Attracted to cod liver oil. Breed along shore but only active at nest burrows at night.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Leachís Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa
Uncommon to Rare >60 miles offshore, March to October. Very rarely seen on traditional pelagic trips that go offshore only 35 miles. A few breed along shore on the central Oregon coast but are active at their nest burrows only at night. Attracted to cod liver oil.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus
Common near shore to 20 miles offshore, April to May and July to September. Peak in August when large flocks and scattered individuals may number into the hundreds on pelagic trips.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius
Variably Uncommon, May and August to October. Primarily found offshore >20 miles. Flocks small. Typically number less than 20 individuals per trip.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Sabineís Gull Xema sabini
Uncommon to Common spring and fall. Usually absent in mid summer and winter. Peak in August when 50 or more birds may be seen.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
Uncommon to Common from late October to early May. Found from near shore to 35 miles offshore. Peak numbers in November and March, when 50-150 birds are typical for a pelagic trip.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Common Tern Sterna hirundo
Uncommon in spring and fall. Found primarily from near shore to 15 miles offshore. Counts on pelagic trips rarely exceed 5 birds.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea
Peak in August and September. Found primarily >20 miles from shore. Peak counts rarely exceed 25 birds.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki
Uncommon in fall, 8-45 miles offshore. Birds are solitary. Typical numbers are 2 or less in July and August. Peak in late September and early October when 5 is a high number, exceptionally to 20 individuals. No birds after mid October.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Pomarine Jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus
Common July through October, variably Uncommon March through May. Found from near shore to 45 miles offshore, though most common 15-35 miles offshore. Counts from 10-30 are typical for the late September peak. Attracted to concentrations of other seabirds.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Parasitic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus
Uncommon in fall. Irregularly Rare in spring. Peak numbers in late August and early September when counts of 5 or less is typical for most trips. Found from near shore to 50 miles offshore, but primarily from 3 to 20 miles offshore.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus
Uncommon in August and September. Rare in May, July and October. Peak numbers in late August. Typical numbers during this peak time approach a dozen birds, exceptionally over 100. Found in greatest numbers >30 miles offshore where they parasitize Arctic Terns.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Common Murre Uria aalge
Expected every trip. Common near shore to 8 miles offshore, farther in winter. Breed in large colony on Yaquina Head. Typical counts on pelagic trips in the low hundreds, thousands onshore in spring.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Pigeon Guillemot Cepphus columba
Expected every trip. Common March through October, Rare in winter. Found <5 miles from shore. Breed along shore and on wharf and pilings in Yaquina Bay. Typical numbers along near shore portions of pelagic trips reach 50 birds.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Marbled Murrelet Brachyramphus marmoratus
Expected every trip. Uncommon to 2 miles offshore, though usually just beyond the breakers. If seas are calm then 20-50 birds might be encountered in a couple of miles of near shore travel on typical pelagic trips. Birds usually paired. Rare breeder in inland forests, flying over land at twilight.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Scripps's Murrelet Synthliboramphus scrippsi
Irregularly Rare, July to October (seen on about 12% of trips). Habitat is warm "tuna" waters, generally beyond 30 miles of shore. Usually found in pairs. Hard to detect unless seas smooth.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Ancient Murrelet Synthliboramphus antiquus
Rare offshore to 30 miles, October to March. Irregularly Uncommon near shore in midwinter. Frequently seen from shore in winter. Near shore flocks may number 20-50 birds. Offshore, small flocks seem to be scattered.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Cassinís Auklet Ptychoramphus aleuticus
Expected every trip. Common 10 to 20 miles offshore in fall. Uncommon from near shore to offshore 30 miles, fall through spring. Rare in summer. Typical fall pelagic trip numbers about 50 birds per trip. If seas calm, hundreds or more may be found occasionally in late fall. A very few probably nest along the central Oregon coast in burrows on headlands.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Rhinoceros Auklet Cerorhinca monocerata
Expected every trip. Common spring and fall, Uncommon in winter and summer. Breed in small numbers in burrows on headlands on the central Oregon coast. Peak in March and October when a few hundred may be seen on pelagic trips, otherwise, typically, less than 35 birds. Found from near shore to about 25 miles offshore.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Horned Puffin Fratercula corniculata
Rare far (>45 miles) offshore in spring, perhaps also in winter when irregularly wrecks of starving birds wash up on beaches. Very rare non-breeding birds nearer shore at any season.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Tufted Puffin Fratercula cirrhata
Rare offshore March to October (found on 25% of October trips). Rare along shore in small numbers, April to August. Typically few, if any, found on central Oregon pelagic trips, as they breed primarily on the northern and southern Oregon coast.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
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Pelagic trip report archive

(from Oregon unless otherwise indicated)
ph = photos
* = rarity (hover mouse over link to see name)

2014
August 16, 2014 Newport, 12 hr *
May 18, 2014 Newport, 12 hr * ph
February 22, 2014 Newport, 8 hr *

2013
October 5, 2013 Newport, 10 hr *
September 21, 2013 Newport, 8 hr
September 7, 2013 Newport, 8 hr
August 24, 2013 Charleston, 5 hr
August 2, 2013 Newport, 12 hr * ph
July 27, 2013 Newport, 8 hr *
July 16, 2013 Newport, 9 hr

2012
December 8, 2012 Newport, 7 hr * ph
October 20, 2012 Newport, 8 hr [Trip #150]
October 6, 2012 Newport, 10 hr * ph
September 15, 2012 Newport, 8 hr * ph
August 25 Charleston, 5 hr ph
July 21 Newport, 8 hr ph
June 9 Newport, 5 hr ph
May 5 Newport, 12 hr * ph

2011
October 22 Newport, 8 hr ph
October 8 Newport, 10 hr * ph
September 24 Newport, 8 hr ph
September 10 Newport, 8 hr * ph
August 27 Charleston, 5 hr
May 15 Newport, 8 hr ph

2010
October 2 Newport, 11 hr ph
September 11 Newport, 11 hr ph
August 28 Charleston, 5 hr
August 14 Newport, 11 hr ph
July 17 Newport, 5 hr
May 16 Newport, 5 hr
May 1 Newport, 11 hr ph
March 6 Newport, 11 hr ph

2009
October 3 Newport, 11 hr ph
September 12 Newport, 11 hr * ph
August 29 Charleston, 8 hr ph
August 8 Newport, 11 hr ph
April 18 Newport, 11 hr * ph
February 21 Newport, 11 hr * ph

2008
October 25 Newport, 11 hr
September 13 Newport, 11 hr * ph
August 30 Charleston, 6 hr
August 16 Newport, 6 hr *
August 10 Newport, 11 hr ph
August 9 Newport, 11 hr * ph
August 3 Newport, 11 hr ph
March 1 Newport, 11 hr * ph

2007
October 6 Newport, 11 hr * ph
September 22 Newport, 11 hr ph
September 1 Charleston, 5 hr ph
August 25 Newport, 11 hr * ph
March 25 Newport, 11 hr * ph

2006
October 28 Newport, 10 hr
October 14 Newport, 10 hr ph
October 1 Newport, 10 hr ph
September 30 Newport, 10 hr * ph
September 9 Charleston, 6 hr
August 20 Newport, 10 hr ph
August 19 Newport, 10 hr ph
July 1 Newport, 5 hr
May 21 Charleston, 5 hr ph
March 18 Newport, 10 hr * ph

2005
November 19 Newport, 9 hr ph [Trip #100]
October 1 Newport, 10 hr
September 10 Charleston, 5 hr
September 5 Winchester Bay, 10 hr
August 13 Newport, 10 hr
July 2 Newport, 5 hr
May 4 Ilwaco, WA, 8 hr
March 19 Newport, 5 hr
January 2 Newport, 5 hr ph

2004
October 2 Newport, 10 hr *
September 4 Charleston, 4 hr
July 31 Ilwaco, WA, 4 hr

2003
October 4 Newport, 12 hr
September 20 Newport, 7 hr
September 13 Ilwaco, WA, 8 hr *
August 31 Newport, 5 hr
August 30 Newport, 8 hr
July 5, 2003 Newport, 8 hr ph
June 9 Newport, 6-1/2 hr
May 31 Newport, 12 hr ph
May 20 Newport, 5 hr * ph
March 1 Newport, 8 hr * ph

2002
October 26 Newport, 10 hr
October 19 Newport, 8 hr
October 12 Eureka, CA, 7 hr
October 6 Newport, 12 hr
October 5 Newport, 12 hr *
September 28 Charleston, 10 hr
September 8 Newport, 3 hr
September 6 Newport, 5 hr
August 24 Newport, 8 hr ph
July 6 Newport, 3 hr
May 21 Newport, 5 hr
March 23 Newport, 8 hr

2001
October 20 Newport, 5 hr
October 7 Newport, 12 hr * ph
October 6 Newport, 12 hr
September 29 Newport, 8 hr
September 22 Newport, 8 hr
September 8 Newport, 8 hr
September 5 Newport, 5 hr
August 25 Newport, 8 hr ph
August 11 Newport, 4 hr
August 10 Newport, 12 hr *
July 7 Newport, 4 hr
May 13 Newport, 5 hr
May 6 Newport, 4 hr
May 5 Newport, 8 hr
April 22 Newport, 12 hr
April 14 Newport, 4 hr
March 24 Newport, 11 hr * ph

2000
October 21 Newport, 9 hr *
October 7 Newport, 12 hr
September 23 Newport, 9 hr
September 2 Newport, 14 hr
August 5 Newport, 4 hr
May 21 Newport, 9 hr
May 14 Newport, 4 hr (2 trips)
May 7 Newport, 4 hr
April 29 Newport, 14 hr
February 5 Newport, 9 hr

1999
December 27 Newport, 5 hr
October 23 Newport, 6 hr
October 2 Depoe Bay, 12 hr *
September 18 Depoe Bay, 8 hr
September 11 Depoe Bay, 12 hr
August 21 Depoe Bay, 8 hr
August 7 Depoe Bay, 4 hr
July 17 Depoe Bay, 4 hr
May 22 Depoe Bay, 4 hr
April 17 Depoe Bay, 6 hr
March 20 Depoe Bay, 6 hr

1998
October 3 Depoe Bay, 8 hr *
September 12 Depoe Bay, 12 hr *
August 15 Depoe Bay, 12 hr
August 1 Depoe Bay, 8 hr
July 18 Depoe Bay, 4 hr
June 20 Garibaldi, 6 hr
April 3-4 Depoe Bay, 20 hr *
February 28 Depoe Bay, 8 hr

1997
October 18 Depoe Bay, 8 hr
August 30 Garibaldi, 10 hr
July 26 Depoe Bay, 3-1/2 hr
June 14 Depoe Bay, 12 hr
February 17 Depoe Bay, 6-1/2 hr

1996
October 5 Depoe Bay, 9 hr * ph
September 21 Garibaldi, 8 hr
August 31 Depoe Bay, 8 hr
August 10 Depoe Bay, 12 hr
July 6 Depoe Bay, 5 hr
May 11 Depoe Bay, 5 hr
March 16 Depoe Bay, 5 hr

1995
November 4 Newport, 5 hr
October 7 Newport, 12 hr *
August 20 Newport, 8 hr
May 14 Newport, 8 hr
April 9 Newport, 8 hr
March 11 Newport, 7 hr

1994
August 27 Newport, 8 hr
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