Birds

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  • Black Oystercatcher

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    Black oystercatchers, with their bright orange beaks in vibrant contrast to their dark bodies, can be seen year-round in the Salish Sea. They feed on limpets and mussels along the rocky shoreline and build spare nests from shell and pebbles just beyond the water's reach. About eighty percent of breeding pairs in the Salish Sea nest on refuge islands.

  • Pigeon Guillemot

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    Pigeon guillemots are widespread throughout the Refuge and are easily identified by their chunky black bodies, white wing patches, and bright red feet. They forage in the water close to shore for small fish and nest in the cavities and crevices of the rocky islands.

  • Glaucous-winged Gull

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    Glaucous-winged gulls form raucous colonies in low vegetation. Working together they harass predators by diving and calling alarms to keep the colony safe. They are opportunistic eaters. A healthy gull diet includes crab, clam, and limpets, but they are often tempted by deadly bits of plastic and trash left behind by careless humans.

  • Double-crested Cormorant

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    Double-crested cormorants can be seen throughout the islands roosting on shorelines and pilings.  They are the largest of the cormorants with a primarily black body and a distinctive orange "face mask."  They are highly sensitive to disturbance and will abandon nests if harassed.