Marine Birds

Bald Eagles Haliaeetus leucocephalus

With its white head and tail, and brown body, a mature Bald Eagle is unmistakable. Young Bald Eagles have speckled brown and white appearance. These birds are a year-round feature on the West Coast. As a great hunter, Bald Eagles sit on top of their food chain. They will eat small rodents, baby birds, and many types of fish. They require huge trees for nesting as they continually build upon a nest year after year.

Fun Fact:

• The largest eagles nest weighed over 1,000 pounds and could fit a Volkswagen Beetle inside!

Blue Heron: Ardea herodias

Often called “Big Cranky” because of their croaking call, these birds can often be seen wading in the coastal waters. They are large, long-legged birds with blue-grey feathers. Their dagger bill is used to pierce its prey through the water. They will eat fish, frogs and crabs and even mice.

Fun Fact:

•  These birds nest in colonies called Heronries, where there can be over 100 nests in three or four trees.

Black Oystercatcher: Haematopus bachmani

Black Oystercatchers are crow-sized, black wading birds with a long, red bill and flesh coloured legs. They can be found on rocky islands and shores. Despite their bright bill, they blend in surprisingly well as they hunt for limpets and whelks. They use their bill to chisel open their prey so thinner shelled prey are more preferred menu items. These birds can live for up to 30 years.

Fun Fact:
•  Oystercatcher eggs look like rocks on a shore so they are easily stepped on by unassuming beach-strollers.

Belted Kingfisher Ceryle Alcyon

Wherever there is good fishing on either salt or fresh water, you can be sure to find the Belted Kingfisher. They gaze into the water, in search of fish, and will dive head first into the water to catch their prey. Generally, these are solitary birds and they are territorial, constantly chasing other Kingfishers away. You will know that a Kingfisher is in your area by their constant loud call, which sounds much like a machine gun!

Fun Fact:

• To teach their young how to plunge into the water, the parents will often throw dead fish into the water.

Other Birds You May Possibly See