Rainbow at Haystack Rock
Photo Courtesy of Susan Glarum
This month's Creature Feature 
Pigeon Guillemot 
(Cepphus columba) 
Once you hear it, the call of the Pigeon Guillemot is not one you are likely to forget anytime soon. Their high pitched chattering and whistling can even be heard over the hundreds of other breeding sea birds gracing Haystack Rock. 

Pigeon Guillemots are small but striking in appearance; during the breeding season, they are dark brown, pigeon-shaped birds with fire-engine-red feet and white patches on their wings. They are closely related to puffins and are found along rocky coastlines from Alaska to California. In late spring, Pigeon Guillemots return from a winter spent at sea back to their breeding colonies. Established male/female pairs will reconnect through a comical courtship ritual involving elaborate "water games".

Unlike other sea birds that only produce one egg, the Pigeon Guillemot can produce two. The eggs are laid just above the high tide line on cliffs or among large boulders in crevices or burrows. Both parents help incubat the eggs and once they hatch after 26-35 days both parents feed the young chicks. Pigeon Guillemot chicks have an advantage over other seabird chicks on Haystack Rock because their parents are able to feed them all hours of the day and night. Most other seabird chicks only get fed during the day or the night. This allows the Guillemot chicks to grow more quickly. While feeding their young, the Pigeon Guillemot activity at the Rock will be at an all-time high. You should be able to see the parents flying back and forth from the nest throughout the day.

Young chicks ready to leave the nest do so at night, under the protective cover of darkness. Unable to fly, they stumble and flutter down to the sea below. It will be two to three weeks before the young fledglings can fly. Once they can, they leave for more distant feeding grounds in the open ocean. Shortly after all the fledglings leave the breeding colony, the adults follow.

Most of the Pigeon Guillemot nests are low along the south wall of Haystack Rock. Because they are easily scared from their nests by people, the Haystack Rock Awareness Program has closed off some of the south intertidal area to give these birds needed space. This move has proven very successful in 2015! Guillemot activity on the south wall has increased, and there are more nests than in previous seasons.
Photo Courtesy of Susan Glarum  


The Friends of Haystack Rock are pleased to announce the launch of our brand new website! This product is the result of a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and a lot of work done by our board over the past 5-6 months.

Our goal with this new site is to provide visitors an easier way to learn about Friends of Haystack Rock and the Haystack Rock Awareness Program, why we do what we do, and how to get involved. In the website are such features as a calendar of upcoming events, photos, the HRAP beach schedule, tide pool etiquette, and our new "Discover Haystack Rock" brochure.

We will be adding new content on a regular basis, and feature pictures and stories related to Haystack Rock, the Marine Garden, seabirds nesting season and much more.

We hope you find the new website has a fresh look, is easy to use and is informative. Please let us know if we are missing something, or if you experience any challenges in using the site.

Question & Answers
with Haystack Rock Awareness Program

Q) Total number of visitors to Haystack Rock between September 2014 through August 2015?
A) Approximately 80,000 people visited Haystack Rock as counted during our beach shifts which occur during low tide between September 2014 through August 2015.
Q) Number of special events hosted by HRAP that focused on birds, marine mammals or other wildlife refuge resources between September 2014 through August 2015?
A) 10 special events were held: two volunteer trainings, the HRAP history display (April - September), Puffin Welcome, Sea Week, Puffin Watch, 4th of July Parade, Summer Potluck, two Oregon Coast Aquarium displays.
Additionally, we had 43 school groups visit the rock where interpreters provided hour long presentations focusing on birds and other wildlife that live at our refuge.

Q) How many HRAP volunteers spoke with visitors to Haystack Rock between September 2014 through August 2015:
A) 56 Volunteers spoke with visitors between September 2014 through August 2015.
Q) How many hours  did HRAP volunteers dedicate to speaking with visitors about the wildlife of Haystack Rock between September 2014 through August 2015?
A) HRAP volunteers dedicated about 1250 hours from September 2014 through August 2015 .

Friends of Haystack Rock is a non-profit organization that provides guidance and financial support for the Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) in cooperation with the City of Cannon Beach promoting the preservation and protection of the intertidal life and birds that inhabit the Marine Garden and the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge at Haystack Rock.
Friends of Haystack Rock is guided by a volunteer board of directors and advisors consisting of committed community members.

Friends of Haystack Rock
PO Box 1222
Cannon Beach, OR 97110

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