The Tufted Puffin is an iconic seabird of Haystack Rock. Recently, their numbers have decreased dramatically or disappeared entirely from colonies in California, Oregon, Washington, Japan, and the Gulf of Alaska. All over the world puffin populations are in trouble. We are trying to help spread the word and educate people about their population problems and what we can do to help. For further reading on the problems facing the puffins check out these two articles, one by the New York Times and the other by Seattle Times. To contribute to puffin conservation and education on the Oregon Coast click the link below to purchase one of these lovely sweatshirts.
Puffin Watch 2019!
Join us in July when we celebrate all things puffin!
July 3rd-5th from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. we will be watching the best areal display known to man, Tufted Puffins! We will be down on the beach in front of Haystack Rock with birding scopes and binoculars trying to share our love of puffins with the rest of you. Watch as these comical birds fly in and out of their burrows, bring fish back to their young, or merely hang out with the rest of their brethren nesting on the Rock.
Tufted Puffins at Haystack Rock
Haystack Rock is home to the largest Tufted Puffin breeding colony in Oregon. In early April puffins show up at Haystack Rock. Most of the puffins have already found their lifelong partners and are returning to the same protected burrow they used last year to raise their young. The Tufted Puffins will spend about 16 weeks at the rock. For the first couple weeks the puffins stake out their territory and clean up their burrow. Once their burrow is ready, the female puffin will lay a single, chicken-sized egg, which both the male and female incubate. Incubation usually lasts 41-54 days. Though usually tucked back inside the burrow, newly hatched puffins appear at the ‘Rock’ beginning in late June through mid to late August. Despite the fact that you may not be able see the pufflings, activity around the rock is hectic and plentiful: it is fun to observe the parent puffins making multiple trips to their burrow with bills full of fish for their young. 38 to 59 days after hatching the pufflings will leave their burrows. Under the protection of dark (to escape the ever-watchful, hungry eyes of bald eagles), all the pufflings will leave the safety of the rock and return to the open ocean, where they will spend the winter.