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Wildlife & Habitat

PROMO Intro Puffins by Ram 512x219

Three Arch Rocks NWR historically was home to one of the largest seabird colonies on the Oregon Coast, with more than 200,000 Common murres breeding on the islands. Recently, the rocks have become almost completely abandoned by most species of seabirds, largely due to Bald Eagle disturbance

Other seabirds continue to breed on the islands, albeit in lower numbers. These include Brandt’s, Pelagic, and Double-crested Cormorants, Western Gulls, storm-petrels, auklets, Black Oystercatchers, Tufted Puffins, and Pigeon Guillemots. The entire refuge is identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by the National Audubon Society.

  • Seabirds

    Common Murre article promo teaser 150 by 118

    Seabirds are gregarious, ocean-dwelling birds that live off the bounty of the sea, coming to land only to breed and raise their young. Three Arch Rocks NWR is a veritable sanctuary to several seabird species, and in the long days of summer these islands are a nexus of activity. 

  • Birds of Prey

    PROMO List Osprey by Andy Morrfew 150x118

    Hunters from on high, birds of prey come in many shapes and sizes and lifestyles, unified in their proclivity to living off the flesh of others. Several species frequent the Oregon coast, including the fish-eating Osprey and the dive-bombing Peregrine Falcon.

    Read on about our raptors

  • Marine Mammals

    Harbor Seal PROMO LIST mammals by David Ledig 150 by 118

    Three species of marine mammals use Three Arch Rocks NWR as areas to haul out of the water and raise their young. Harbor Seals and California Sea Lions can be seen lolling within barking distance of the upwards of two hundred Steller Sea Lions that take up seasonal residence here.

    Learn more about our pinnipeds

  • Habitat

    PROMO List Colony by Chuck Lanska 150x118

    In the 1980s, the rocks were white with Common Murre guano and the air rang with the cacophony of seabird cries. Today, the rocks are brown and mostly silent. While still majestic, the ecological character of the refuge and wilderness has shifted. 

    Learn more about habitat on Three Arch Rocks

Page Photo Credits — Common Murre Flying -©Ram Papish,  Flock of Common Murre - ©Ram Papish, Osprey - Andy Morrfew via Flickr, Harbor Seal  - Roy Lowe/USFWS, Seabird colony - ©Chuck Lanska
Last Updated: Jul 09, 2015
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