Grays Harbor County is a bird watcher’s paradise! The region tends to attract birders from all over the country. Many come to search out sea birds on the open sea with a boat trip out of Westport, while others take in birding in Ocean Shores.
Ocean Shores, with its rich diversity of habitat, has recorded 300 species of birds. Jetties may host Wandering Tattler, Surfbird, or Rock Sandpiper, while nearby beaches and marshes hold migrating Pacific Golden Plover or even a rare Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.
Ocean Shores is also a magnet for rare birds including Mottled Petrel, Manx Shearwater, Eurasian Dotterel, Bristle-thighed Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Ivory Gull, Least Tern, Long-billed Murrelet, Horned Puffin, Yellow Wagtail, and McKay’s Bunting.
Not to be outdone, is Hoquiam, WA, home of the nationally recognized Shorebird Festival. Hundreds of thousands of shorebirds migrate from Central and South America to the Artic each spring, stopping at the nutrient rich mud flats of the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge to refuel and rest.
The refuge has been designated a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network Site, only one of eight such sites in the Western Hemisphere, in recognition of its importance to migrating shorebirds.
Two dozen species of shorebirds use the Grays Harbor estuary during the spring and fall migration. The Grays Harbor estuary is one of four major stop over areas for about one million shorebirds along the Pacific Flyway. 365 species of birds have been seen along the Washington Coast. That’s over 75 percent of all species ever seen in our state. The coast of Grays Harbor is one of the top places in the US to watch birds.