“Welcome back, puffins!”
So reads a handmade sign held by a flock of school children in front of Cannon Beach’s most prominent landmark, Haystack Rock, every April.
Haystack Rock is home to a colony of 200-300 tufted puffins during the summer months, where they congregate after many months on the open ocean to mate and raise chicks.
Their arrival is a sure sign of spring in Cannon Beach and is celebrated during the annual Twelve Days of Earth Day celebration.
During the event, April 11 – 22, 2012, volunteers with the Haystack Rock Awareness Program set up puffin-viewing stations on the beach with spotting scopes. They are also available to answer questions about the distinctive birds.
Tufted puffins are striking birds during the summer breeding season: each sports a thick, bright orange bill, a bright white face atop a jet-black body, and a pair of golden tufts curling from orange-rimmed eyes down the back of the neck. In the air, they fly purposefully with constantly flapping wings. Read the rest of this entry »