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Pacific Puffins

Jerome Smith , Nov 29, 1999; 09:09 a.m.

Similar to Brian's query, where are the good places along the west coast to shoot pacific puffin species, without having to travel up to Alaska and/or the Probilofs? (Been there, done that! Talk about "iffy" weather conditions.) (Rather than confuse Brian's thread, I thought it best to start a new one.) Thanks


Lanier Benkard , Nov 29, 1999; 12:39 p.m.

I'm sure there are other spots that are good for pacific puffins, but my only experience is with the Farallones Islands off of San Francisco. There are quite a few puffins there and the weather is pretty reliable. You are not allowed to land at all though (unless you are a researcher) so you have to shoot from a boat. There is a lot of other stuff to see out there too: leatherback turtles (highly endangered), lots of whales/dolphins/sea lions, lots of other birds.

Hans -- , Nov 29, 1999; 04:53 p.m.

I find myself hoping that someone might describe the Tufted Puffin photo ops at Cape Meares NWR in Oregon in this thread. Reading what the USFWS says about the place it has the potential for being least difficult place on the westcoast for shore based alcid photography.

Bob Atkins , Nov 29, 1999; 05:51 p.m.

Not quite "nature", but there were Tufted Puffins in a walk-in, free-fly type aviary in the aquarium in Newport, OR when I was there 4 or 5 years ago. They were the only ones I saw on the Pacific coast!

Hans -- , Nov 29, 1999; 07:02 p.m.

Along the lines of captive alcids, the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward (http://www.alaskasealife.org/) that was built with major millions from the Exxon Valdez settlement dollars has there what they claim to be the largest artifical alcid habitat in the world. They've stocked the habitat with Horned Puffins, Tufted Puffins and Pigeon Guillemots, but, while its possible to get frame filling shots of them with a 90mm, birds were captured as chicks and won't achieve adult breeding plumage till spring of 2001. Hans

Chuck Bettis , Nov 29, 1999; 08:57 p.m.

One of the fellows that I shoot with has photographed puffins on Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, OR. I believe that it is definitely 500-600mm range. Contact the "Backyard Bird Shop" in Cannon Beach for more info and best times.

Bill Shewchuk , Nov 30, 1999; 03:49 p.m.

there are very few spots but here goes...haystack rock @ Cannon Beach from may to july(go during the week very crowed on weekends), cape mears and the lighthouse, If all else fails the oregon aquarium, now from the aquarium go 5 miles north to a small beach (sorry do not have the name of it) rock out cropping similar to haystack but alot smaller we spotted approx. 1 doz. in the water. Lens choice is on the high end 500-800 and more for cliff shorting. now if you are daring hire out a boat and go to Cape Mears Rock, if the weather is good the possiblities are there.

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