[Tweeters] Horned Puffin, Grayland Beach

Carr, Peter J. Peter.Carr at aecom.com
Tue Mar 6 12:41:25 PST 2012

I was surprised to find a Horned Puffin (HOPU) on the beach at Grayland Beach State Park (south of Westport) while camping there over the weekend. It was originally struggling on the sands just past the surf line. I was able to approach quite close, and it eventually made its way into the surf where it seemed much more at ease. The Cornell BNA site notes that they move easily over land, so its struggling makes me think it was injured.

The plumage seems to match Sibley's illustration of a juvenile (I'm not sure how long juveniles retain that plumage). Its white breast was unmistakable, both on water and on land, distinguishing it from a tufted puffin.

I knew this was an unusual sighting. But reading Opperman later that night, I saw that there were only 17 reporting sightings in WA state at the time of publication, and about half of those were dead birds washed ashore.

We did not relocate the bird after our initial sighting (about 5:30 pm/sunset on Friday, March 2). Sorry about the late posting, but I've been offline.

My wife got several decent photos at close range. I don't have a shared photo account right now to post to, but I'd be happy to send anyone interested a photo upon request.

Peter Carr
ottotrontor at msn.com<mailto:ottotrontor at msn.com>

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