Birding Watching Garibaldi

Keep Your Eye on the Bird

Tillamook County is a bird watching paradise. The coastline areas are home or visited by all manner of sea and shore birds and our inland forests shelter migrating songbirds. Eagles are often seen, as are hawks.

According to the Portland Audubon Society, Tillamook Bay supports almost 25 percent of the northern- and central-coast wintering waterfowl population in Oregon. During the annual Christmas bird count, upwards of 140 different resident species are counted here, putting the county among the leading areas for bird populations. A total of some 250 different species have been counted over the years.

The society recommends the following locations in and around Garibaldi:

Bayview Jetty Park

The rocky jetty and open ocean attract both bay and ocean attract both bay and ocean birds. Scan the jetty rocks for Wandering Tattler, Black Turnstone, Ruddy Turnstone and Rock Sandpiper from fall through early spring. The bay will have Western Gull Pelagic, Double-crested and Brandt’s Cormorant, Common Murre and Pigeon Guillemot year-round and Common Loon and Western Grebe in winter.

Garibaldi Boat Basin

Watch for birds at the public pier or walk the path that leads north along the edge of the bay overlooking beach and tidal flats. Great Blue Herron are common, Bald Eagle are occasional, while Bufflehead, Common Merganser and American Wigeon use the area in winter. Purple Martin Pigeon Guillemot and Brown Pelican are common in summer.

Pacific Oyster/Bay City

Along the spit that juts into Tillamook Bay, shorebirds including Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Spotted Sandpiper, Purple Martin, Caspian Tern and Osprey are common in Spring.  Wester Gull and Bald Eagle can be seen year-round.

Bay City to Tillamook

This stretch of the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway winds through flooded pastures and river frontage adjacent to estuaries. In winter, watch for Bluewinged Teal, Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Canada Geese, White-tailed Kite and Red-shouldered Hawk. Killdeer and Whimbrel are seen during migration.

Tillamook Forest Center

Spend a day hiking the park’s extensive trail system in summer and look for Northern Pygmy-Owl, Pileated Woodpecker, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren, Varied Thrush, Pine Siskin and Orange-crowned, Yellow, Wilson’s and MacGillivray’s Warbler.

Bayocean Spit/Tillamook Bay

On the way, watch flooded pastures and wetlands for Aleutian Crackling Geese, Killdeer and White-tailed Kite. Out on the spit, hike the gravel dike to see Tundra Swan, Red Phalarope, Brant, Snowy Egret and Horned Grebe from fall through early spring and Great Blue and Green Heron, Bald Eagle and Peregrine Falcon year-round.

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