Seaside Stories

Where to Go Birding in Seaside

September 4, 2017 | by Shellie Bailey-Shah

The Seaside Estuary makes an ideal spot to go bird watching along the Oregon Coast.

Seaside may be a small town, but it’s a big destination for birds, and as a result, birdwatchers hitting nearby spots on the Oregon Coast Birding Trail. More than 300 species of birds either live here year-round or visit in the spring or autumn on their travels along the Pacific Flyway migratory route. With such varied ecosystems — the ocean, an estuary, fresh and saltwater ponds, wetlands, grassy dunes and forest — your birding experience is sure to be rich and diverse.

Click here for birding tips, including GPS coordinates to each of the spots below.

Best for Families

Mill Ponds consists of two ponds — one freshwater and one tidal-influenced — that attract birds throughout the year. In the spring, look for brightly colored, neo-tropical migrants, such as Wilson’s warblers, orange-crowned warblers and warbling vireos, which feed on insects and nectar plants; in the winter, you’ll find ospreys and sparrows in addition to migrant harlequin and wood ducks. The short trail is flat and family-friendly. To get to Mill Ponds, take Highway 101 to Avenue S and then to Alder Mill Road, where you can park at the end of the street.

Best for Paddlers

Kayaking is one of the best ways to observe migratory shorebirds in the Necanicum Estuary, where the Necanicum River meets the Pacific Ocean. During April and September, look for Western sandpipers, whimbrels, semipalmated plovers, dunlins and long-billed curlews. Other frequent visitors include great blue herons, greater yellowlegs, and various ducks. For more on kayaking in Seaside, click here.

You can also access the estuary on foot from North Gateway Park. Parking is available just north of Java Reef Coffee (2674 Highway 101).

Best for Beach Lovers

On the southern end of Seaside along the beach next to the rocky headland, you’ll discover Seaside Cove. While you enjoy the waves lapping the shore, look for common murres, pigeon guillemots and pelagic cormorants. Parking is available along Sunset Boulevard.

Best for Hikers

A hike on the Tillamook Head Trail combines birding with the best views of storied Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. You’ll spot Wilson’s and Hermit warblers, Spotted towhees and maybe even Northern Saw-whet owls. Start at the parking area for Elmer Feldheimer Forest Preserve at the end of Sunset Boulevard. For more on this hike and views of “Terribly Tilly,” click here.

Before you set out, review Seaside’s birding etiquette.

Above photo by Veronica Russell for the Seaside Visitors Bureau

and so much more!

Family Magazine: Vacation 101

A look at family fun activities on the North Oregon Coast

Learn More
Seeing Seaside on a Surrey

Cruising around Seaside on a Surrey can be great exercise and a scenic journey

Learn More
Golden Age Arcade

Seaside's classic golden age arcade.

Learn More
Miss Oregon Parade: 1950

A brief look at the Miss Oregon Parade circa 1950.

Learn More
Paragliding on the North Coast

Adventure and fun with paragliding on Oregon

Learn More
How to Build a Beach Bonfire

It’s a longstanding Seaside tradition: listening to a crackling fire in concert with the crashing of the ocean waves. Bonfires o...

Learn More
Awards Program for Excellence in Customer Service

New Customer Service Awards Program in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
For a Taste of Oregon’s Beautiful North Coast, Visit Seaside

Seaside has been a vacation destination for nearly as long as Oregon has been a state.

Learn More
Locals Weigh In on the Best Ways to Visit Seaside

Building a campfire on the beach is a special tradition in Seaside. Photo: Kimson Doan Maybe you’ve visited Seaside for decades,...

Learn More
A Beach Bicycle Built for Two

Beach Bike Rentals in Seaside, Oregon

Learn More
View from the North Prom

Beautiful view from Seaside's north promenade.

Learn More
Episode Two: the Lewis & Clark Salt Works

Join us on an audio walking tour of the Lewis & Clark Salt Works in Seaside, Oregon.

Learn More
October is a Fickle Friend in Seaside

October weather is unpredictable on Oregon's North Coast

Learn More
The Perfect S’more

As the sun continues to make more regular appearances, I continue to look forward to external sunshine. And, yearning for a sweet treat, I’m reminded of that summer favorite: S’mores!

Learn More
Clatsop Lodging Industry Jobs Surpass Pre-Recession Levels in Past Two Years

According to preliminary estimates, average employment in Clatsop County’s accommodations industry rose by 50 jobs to 1,310 in 2...

Learn More
Family Reunion

Seaside is a hot spot for family reunion get-togethers.

Learn More
A Seagull’s View

Aerial shot of Seaside Oregon from the 1920s

Learn More