Trying to figure out which bird you spotted while visiting the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington? By Karisa Boyce
Beach goers come to the Long Beach Peninsula for many reasons, one of those being the abundance of wildlife. Many species of coastal birds live, work, and play on Long Beach. This guide will help you identify the wonderful winged creatures you may see while you visit the peninsula.
Western Gull - Larus occidentalis
One bird that we see prevalently on the Long Beach Peninsula year round is the Western Gull. You can see them feeding on crabs and fish that have washed up on shore. These birds live all along the west coast from Baja, Mexico to British Columbia in Canada. Western Gulls can be seen inland as well.
Adults have large white heads with gray wings while first winter juveniles are muddled with mostly dark brown and gray coloration. It takes approximately four years for Western Gulls to gain their full plumage of feathers.
Caspian Tern - Hydroprogne caspia
Here is a bird that from a distance could be easily mistaken for the Western Gull because Caspian Terns can also be found in large groups with the gulls. Western Gulls are predators of Caspian Tern chicks. There are major differences in coloration as they have large reddish-orange beaks that sometimes have black tips. Full grown adults have black caps with shallow forked tails. Juvenile Caspian Terns are also camouflaged with gray and brown.
The large population of Caspian Terns on the Long Beach Peninsula may be attributed to their largest breeding grounds being located on an artificial island on the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington. There are more than 6,000 breeding pairs that meet annually on the island and have been known to live for as long as 29 years.
Tufted Puffin - Fratercula cirrhata
Tufted Puffins can be uncommonly seen in April through September as they spend the winter at sea. These endangered birds nest on island cliffs along Alaska to Southern California coast lines and can dig burrows up to 6 feet deep.
You know you have spotted a Tufted Puffin when you see a crow-sized bird with a stocky large head on a black body and a white face with long golden plumes around the head and neck. A non-breeding adult has a dark gray face with no head plumes or bill plate.
Bald Eagle - Haliaeetus leucocoephalus
Young Bald Eagles have distinctly different color patterns than a full grown adult eagle. The Juveniles are brown with brown and white muddled wings. The large adult birds have a dark brown body with a white head, hence its name the Bald Eagle. It takes 4 to 5 years for the transition from birth to sexually mature adult.
Bald Eagles are present on the beach. You may see them perched on a pole, a high branch, or on the beach itself, and they appreciate space. While Bald Eagles are scavengers they will eat anything from garbage to mammals, waterfowl, and gulls with fish being their main course.
Brown Pelican - Pelecanus occidentalis
The Brown Pelican is endangered in the state of Washington. These majestic creatures can be seen diving into the ocean from heights of 65 feet in the air. The Brown Pelican is a very large bird similar in size to that of a goose. They use their long bills and expanding throats to catch fish. Their broad wings are bowed while in flight as they glide through the air.
An immature Brown Pelican is brown and grey in color with pale or white breast and belly. The sexually mature adult will present with a yellow head and white neck. When they are breeding, Brown Pelicans have a dark reddish-brown coloration present on the back and sides of their necks.
Killdeers or Little Ringed Plover - Charadrius vociferus
You are most likely to spot this bird because Killdeers nest in places where people frequent. The small birds have a short, black bill with distinctive black double neck rings with coloration that is consistent year round. Juveniles have only one ring around their necks.
Common Murre - Uria aalge
While the Common Murre can be found in Washington state year round, the bird breeds in island off the Oregon and Washington coast. They look similar to penguins, with black and white coloration along with a long black pointed beak.
The Ocean Blue team found over 100 birds washed up on shore on the Long Beach Peninsula during July and August in 2019. University of Washington is doing an ongoing investigation into the high number of deaths that Common Murre populations are experiencing in recent years.
Have you seen any birds in southwest Washington that did not make it on this list? Let us know so we can add it to the list! Reach out to email@example.com.
San Francisco based branch of Wells Fargo clean up Ocean Beach with man’s best friend. By Karisa Boyce
Some participants of the Create a Cleanup program choose to donate to Ocean Blue and become Annual Corporate Members. Wells Fargo of San Francisco is just one of the many businesses doing just that. This donation supports beach cleanups in the Bay Area as well as the Blue Schools Program that educates and inspires youth of all ages to be beach stewards.
In July 2019, Wells Fargo Asset Management employees took time out of their busy day to meet at Ocean Beach for a cleanup! Employees and one dog collected several large compostable bags full of debris, both land and marine-based. A new dart board game was found amongst the rubbish left on the beach. Without this amazing team of beach stewards, this debris would have made its way out to the ocean to become food for marine animals.
A special thank you to the San Francisco Wells Fargo Asset Management department employee, Julie Parker, who made this cleanup effort possible!
To learn more about Ocean Blue Memberships and Blue Beaches Projects, visit OceanBlueProject.org or reach out to Karisa@oceanblueproject.org. More information about how plastic is harming birds, and how much plastic is floating in our Ocean.
Blog by Dr. Robert Glatter - 2 min Read.
We have created desired living conditions by building grand houses, cities, and have raised our demands for wooden materials that has threatened our forests. Logging activities are on the increase, and little emphasis are made in making these forests regain their initial stage in a few years by replanting of trees. These we can curtail by making sure governments of countries which depend on logging for revenue generation are prepared to follow due process and made to embark on afforestation to maintain the carbon cycle and also prevent wind disasters which these forests prevent. The only solution to deforestation is planting more and more trees.
We are facing emissions from our industrialized world and automobiles. All these constitute the reduction of the ozone layer in the atmosphere. They are the major cause of global warming, and they have also reduced the volume of earth essential components. We can mitigate and address these by making sure hydrocarbon emissions are regulated. Biofuels have to be encouraged by all stakeholders in the industries, including governments.
Air Pollution comes from energy utilize so, we have to devote more of our energies towards renewable energies, most of them are eco-friendly. We have to make sure we hold our governments and multinational companies accountable for our environmental degradation. Efforts should be done towards researches and best solutions for decreasing climate change. Fossils should be moderately used, and automobiles should be built with lower emissions of hydrocarbons to help reduce the harmful effects on the atmosphere. Global warming is also increasing due to air pollution day by day. Scientists point out climate change as the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. The rise in carbon dioxide is the main cause of increase in global warming.
DOES SMOKING CAUSE AIR POLLUTION?
Smoking is a major cause of air pollution. Environmental cigarette smoke (ETS) eliminate fine particulate matter, which is the most hazardous element of air pollution for health. The smoke emitted by cigarettes is 10 times greater than diesel car exhaust. While the dangers of smoking are clear, the best way to quit is not. In fact, People are moving towards electronic cigarettes that is the best alternative to cigarette smoking as it doesn't eliminate any toxic or harmful smoke that cause air pollution.
Excessive use of plastic:
Almost everything comes in plastic packaging now. Items on sale in shops are mostly packaged in plastic containers. Statistically, the food packaging accounts for nearly 70% of all household trash and waste that eventually end up in landfills. The problem is that plastics are a significant pollutant to the environment due to their inability to degrade quickly and naturally. This means that as more and more plastics end up being dumped in landfills, decomposition takes place, thus adding no value on earth and polluting the environment. Plastic contains many harmful elements in it that can severely affect our environment. These chemicals also cause suffocation in air, and thus, many respiratory can occur too.
Improper disposal of batteries and ink:
Household batteries contain massive amount of traces of mercury and other toxic chemicals that are damaging wildlife and sea life, when they accumulate and leak into ecosystems due to excessive disposal. Ink cartridges, on the other hand, have a more toxic effect on the environment when not disposed of correctly.
Face wash is hazardous to the environment:
People use face washes that mostly contain plastic microbeads, which are being termed by researchers as a severe environmental problem. The beads are not filtered during sewage treatment due to their small size. When they released into water bodies, they are swallowed by fish and other marine animals which harm their health and could harm their organs or damage their gills. These harmful beads also destroy the animal’s internal systems as they are made with the purpose of scrubbing. It is the beads abrasive nature that is damaging to aquatic animals.
Use of pesticides is increasing day by day for the betterment of growth. Pesticide contaminated land and water when it escapes from production sites and storage tanks, when it runs off from fields, and when it is sprayed aerially. Some pesticides are the cause of global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer. Ozone layer depletion is causing the main harm and danger to our atmosphere and environment, and thus, our environment is being destroyed.
The environmental impact of paint is astonishing. Traditional painting materials can have severe harmful effects on the environment, including those from the use of lead and other harmful additives. Lead causes an adverse impact on the environment, and measures can be taken to reduce environmental impact. Use such paints, coatings, painting accessories and techniques that are environment friendly.
Join A Beach Cleanup with Ocean Blue!
Sign up for the September 7th Oregon Beach Cleanup. Find out more by clicking on the link below!