One of Our's Sails the Seas!

Hi all! My name is Jesse. I am the one behind most of the blog posts the last year. For the last three years, I have been an interpreter on the beach with the program and loved every moment of it. It is through working for the program that I learned a few things, about the world and myself, that have led me to where I am today.

I learned:             -Science communication is incredibly important.             -My heart is with the environment.             -I LOVE THE OCEAN.             -Sometimes talking to people with opposing views to myself is when I learn the most.             -Seabirds are cool. -For the most part, people want to learn about science and the natural environment, if it is approached in the right way. -Always ask for what I want, the worst that can happen is I get told no.
Working for HRAP largely influenced the direction I am going with my formal education. I am currently a junior at Portland State University working towards my Bachelor of Science in Environmental …

2018 Beach Season is Almost Over!

We are nearing the culminations of our 33rd season of education and stewardship on the Oregon Coast!

2018 has been an eventful season for us, filled with outreach, art, citizen science, and community partnerships. At the end of last month, we had interacted with 85,000 visitors, ran nearly 70 education programs, rescued and transported 35 birds to the Wildlife Center, and attended over 100 events. This season over 160 volunteers selflessly donated their time to help us, and without them this season would not have been possible. The Beach Wheelchair Program has provided beach access to over 265 visitors so far this year.

Over the winter we will continue to participate in citizen science projects like the COASST Bird Survey, Sea Star Survey, and Marine Debris Survey.

Our official last day on the beach will be October 24th from 4pm-6pm.

Everyone who has participated in this year is invited to attend our End of Season Celebration on November 3rd, where we will hand out our Volunteer of th…

Some of the Summer Finds!

Hello all! Can you believe it? Summer is just about over. School children have all returned to the classroom. College lectures began this week. Things are beginning to slow down at Haystack Rock, although our program still has a little over a month left on the beach. Our official last day on the beach is October 24th. We are sad that summer is coming to an end because that not only means that the crowds will be less, but also the sea bird population is way less. Below are pictures of some of my favorite finds of the summer:  A Common Murre Chick a.k.a. A Jumpling 

A healthy family of Ochre Sea Stars 
A Tufted Puffin 

A Leather Sea Star 
Another Ochre Sea Star 
A Sea Nettle 
A Juvenile Western Gull 
and A Mermaids Purse! 

Leather Stars!

In the tide pools at Haystack Rock, there is a ton of different creatures to discover and fall in love with. Without a doubt, the crowd favorite is ALWAYS a Sea Star (more common known as Starfish). Sea Stars are part of the Echinoderm family, meaning that their closest family is Sea Cucumbers and Sea Urchins.  Worldwide there is approximately 1,600 different species of Sea Stars. At the Rock, the most common species we see is the Ochre Sea Star. These guys come in both orange and purple; and are covered all over in white dots.

On special, unpredictable, days different species of Sea Stars turn up in the tide pools. Today was one of those days...we found a single LEATHER STAR this morning. Leather Stars in rare at Haystack Rock, even though they are considered a common species. They live on the west coast of North America from Alaska to Southern California mostly in rocky shore habitats and sometimes in harbors attaching themselves to pilings. Leather Stars favorite things to eat are …

Are they Nudis, Nuribranchs, or Sea Slugs??

As I sat down this morning to write this blog, I had a complete lack of inspiration. So I began going through the nature notes from the beach and I noticed that there was a ton of notes about different types of nudibranchs sightings and it clicked.

This brings me to the title of this post: nudis is just a nickname for nudibranchs and nudibranchs are the technical term for sea slugs. AND THEY ARE OUR FAVORITE CREATURE EVER! More often than not, our educators are searching for nudis when they are out in the tidepools. They are shell-less mollusks that come in all colors and patterns. Worldwide there is approximately 2,000 different species of nudibranchs. Their life span is around one year, some species can grow up to one foot in length, and they are carnivores.

Here are some of the most common nudis we find at Haystack Rock:
Sea Lemon 
Shaggy Mouse 
Red Sponge 
Remember to keep an eye out for these special guys next time you are tide pooling and…

Birds of Prey!

Hello all! First of all I want to apologize for two posts in a row about birds but I could not help myself. Not that long ago, I was sitting at a viewpoint south of Cannon Beach whale watching. As I was sitting there, I noticed a falcon like bird flying in circles near me. I did not think much of it until I looked to my left where this large rock was and on one of the cliff edges was sitting a second falcon. At this point, I turned with my binoculars to confirm what I thought I was seeing. I was right, sitting within fifty feet of a PEREGRINE FALCON. As I watched a little bit longer, it eventually dove off and disappeared down the cliff; leaving me completely in awe.

Since this day, I have been doing some research on peregrine falcons. They are the largest falcon in North America and comparative in size to crows. They can be found all over the continent but typically prefer to be near the coast, which is good news for us. When they dive for their prey, the falcons can reach up to 200 …

All the birds are back!

Our absolute favorite time of the year is finally here! Officially all of the birds that nest at the Rock have arrived and are here to stay for the rest of the summer. The Pigeon Guillemots, Common Murres, Cormorants, Black Oystercatchers, Tufted Puffin and some others all make up the majority of the nesting bird population. From personal experience, I understand that it can be incredibly overwhelming to come to the beach in search of puffins and learn that there is so many species of birds to identify between. That is why we are here! We want to show you the difference between the Common Murres (which look like tiny flying penguins) and the Tufted Puffin; both of which look very similar while in flight with their similar size and fast wing beat. Since the Tufted Puffin are the claim to fame bird at the Rock, I wanted to give you a few tips to be able to see them!
1. Come in the morning time. Its hard to give an exact time, but with a rough guess I would say anytime before 10:00am.  2…