Rainbow at Haystack Rock

Friends of Haystack Rock

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Photo Courtesy of Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium

This month's Creature Feature 

Harbor Seal 


In Oregon, the breeding season for harbor seals begins in mid-April which corresponds with the season's first harbor seal pups showing up on Oregon's beaches. The pups weigh about 25 pounds at birth, but they grow quickly, doubling their weight within the first month. The mother's milk is about 40% fat, so she must forage for food as often as possible to keep her energy up and provide for her pup. While she is in search of food, she will leave her pup to rest on the beach (like all newborn babies, seal pups need a lot of sleep). Though you may not be able to see her, she is always nearby. Well-intentioned people sometimes think that a seal pup alone on the beach has been abandoned by its mother, but this is rarely the case. If the pup is moved, it has no chance of reuniting with its mother. If you see a seal pup on the beach, give it plenty of space and leave it alone. On the Northern Oregon Coast you can call the Seaside Aquarium at (503) 738-6211 and someone will post signs around the pup encouraging everyone to stay away. If you are elsewhere, you can contact the Marine Mammal Stranding Network Hotline at 541-270-6830.  


Seal pups actually begin their "lives at sea" in small tide pools, bays, or estuaries where they spend their first four weeks of life learning to hunt and becoming self-sufficient. After this first month, the mother leaves the pup and continues on her way.


The pup's whiskers (also call vibrissae) play an integral part in helping them find, track, and catch their prey. The vibrissae are incredibly sensitive, and function as a kind of underwater "radar sense." Studies have shown that they not only enable the seal to discern the shape and size of a fish, but also allow the seal to track the fish even up to 35 seconds after the fish has passed by. As you might imagine, this is incredibly useful in murky or deep water.


Young pups start off feeding on small sculpins and surf perch, but as they get older their diet varies and includes such items as sole, flounder, hake, cod, herring, octopus and squid.


You can help Friends of Haystack Rock earn donations just by shopping with your Fred Meyer Rewards Card!

How? It's Easy! Sign up for the Community Rewards Program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards card to Friends of Haystack Rock.You can search for us by name or by our nonprofit number
At the end of each quarter, Fred Meyer will make a donation to participating nonprofits based on the accumulated spending of the Rewards customers linked to each nonprofit.  
You still earn your reward points, fuel points and rebates just as you do today but every time you shop and use your rewards card you are helping Friends of Haystack Rock earn a donation!

and Amazon will make a donation to Friends of Haystack Rock

Friends of Haystack Rock is a non-profit organization that provides guidance and financial support for the Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) in cooperation with the City of Cannon Beach promoting the preservation and protection of the intertidal life and birds that inhabit the Marine Garden and the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge at Haystack Rock.
Friends of Haystack Rock is guided by a volunteer board of directors and advisors consisting of committed community members.

Friends of Haystack Rock
PO Box 1222
Cannon Beach, OR 97110

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Volunteer Training Announced!  


Join HRAP on Saturday, June 7th, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for their second volunteer interpreter training of the year. The agenda includes a presentation on "Friend-raising" with the Friends of Haystack Rock and a Tsunami Preparedness training by the City of Cannon Beach's safety committee. It will wrap up with a beach orientation and Tsunami route walk. New and returning volunteers are encouraged to attend. Lunch will be provided. Please be sure to RSVP with Volunteer Coordinator, Alix Lee if you would like to attend!


Alix Lee, HRAP Volunteer Coordinator, Phone: 503-436-8095 (TTY:503-436-8097)

Email: [email protected] 


(Trainings are held at Cannon Beach City Hall, 163 E. Gower Street) 







Welcome Home! 


On April 2, the first of the Tufted Puffins began arriving on Haystack Rock. Each spring, puffins that have spent the last eight months floating and diving on the open seas of the Pacific Ocean return to Cannon Beach's Haystack Rock to lay eggs and raise their chicks.
Photo courtesy of Pelican Productions

On May 16, a pair of Black Oystercatchers were spotted establishing a nest in the Saddle. This area will be blocked off and HRAP will be asking visitors to keep voices down  

to lessen disturbance. If we are as lucky as last year, the pair will have eggs and chicks soon. Western Gulls and Pelagic Cormorants were also seen establishing sites and collecting materials for their nests.   


2013 Photo Courtesy of Susan Glarum




Great Cannon Beach Puffin Watch
July 4-July 6 from 8am-11am