The 2013 North Oregon Coast Birdathon

<p>Susan Boac</p>

Though it was chilly and windy on the day of the North Oregon Coast Birdathon last month, even the beginner birders surprised me with their drive to find as many species as possible.

Perhaps it is the competitiveness in us or doing it for a good cause like the Wildlife Center that encourages us to press on. Totals for the day were over 100 species and over $2,000 raised.

Lee and Evan Cain saw the most – 107 species, and Linda Perkins raised the most – over $650.

I had the honor of showing my good friends Terry and Mitzi around that day. Among the many wonderful events of the day, we saw two amazing “circle of life” situations.

While in Cannon Beach’s Les Shirley Park, we noted a flock of American robins pulling worms from the ground. After a quick peek up the hill at Chapman Point, we came back by the park and saw a merlin and a pile of feathers had replaced the robins.

Later in the day, we happened upon another flock of American robins on Bug Hole Road. In the hopes of finding a varied thrush, I asked Terry to look closely at each bird for identification. To her horror, as she was perusing the field, a sharp-shinned hawk attacked a robin, and in a few seconds, flew away with it. (A good field identification difference between merlins and sharpies: one sits and eats, the other drags it away. Thanks, Lee!)

We ended the day with a respectable 71 species seen and won the prize for most sparrow species noted.

Many wonderful pictures and stories were shared by participants at a little gathering the next day at Cannon Beach’s Sea Ranch Event Lodge.

I hope you will join us next year on April 12, 2014 for the second North Oregon Coast Birdathon.

After spending many pleasurable hours driving her avid birder parents around, Susan has taken up birding as a passion. She and her husband, Scott, live on the Neawanna Creek in Seaside where their backyard is a birder’s paradise.