Spring break for the birds

This is Protection Island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca between Discovery and Sequim Bays. It’s just far enough from shore that it doesn’t lend itself to a good, clear shot. But it’s an interesting place. This is Puget Sound’s location for the avian version of spring break.

Protection Island is a 364-acre national wildlife refuge closed humans but it’s a hotspot for Washington state birds. An estimated 70% of the nesting seabird populations of Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca come here. It’s home to one of the largest nesting colonies of rhinocerous auklets in the world and one of the last two nesting colonies of tufted puffins in the Puget Sound area.

There is a 200 yard buffer zone around the island so taking closeups of the feathered visitors is off the table.

3 thoughts on “Spring break for the birds”

  1. Talk about frustration: It’s a beautiful place, but you can’t get close enough to get a good picture! Then, I’m thinking, well it’s got all those wonderful birds on it, so get in a boat and go shoot some of them. But you can’t get close enough in a boat to do that, either.

    Oh well, the place is definitely for the birds and that’s not necessarily a bad thing when all is said and done!

  2. Fascinating. So no one is allowed anywhere near the island? How very frustrating for an amateur ornithologist/photographer such as yours truly. But, how do we know about the nesting puffins? Well, I’m off to look up what a rhinoceros auklet looks like — that’s a new one to me. Must be a west coast bird.

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