Nearby Cape Arago and Simpson Reef

A few miles south of Shore Acres is Cape Arago, a must-see location (and one of my favorites). Cape Arago overlooks Simpson Reef, the largest marine mammal haul-out in Oregon. From this overlook, thousands of harbor and northern elephant seals as well as Steller’s and California sea lions can be viewed.


Cape Arago

The pristine, rocky intertidal zone attracts:

  • harlequin ducks
  • black oystercatchers
  • pigeon guillemots
  • surfbirds
  • black, surf, and white-winged scoters
  • an occasional rock sandpiper


From the viewing deck, look for:

  • common murres
  • marbled murrelets
  • western grebes
  • pelagic and Brandt’s cormorants




Take along your favorite field guide


If this is your first expedition to the Oregon coast, I suggest a few references and resources to help plan your trip. An excellent online source for locations and detailed directions for birding can be found on Oregon Birding Trails. Sponsored by various state and local agencies, birding trails and “must see” spots are highlighted for the entire state.


Other websites that have a wealth of information about visiting Oregon:



Hauling-out is associated with seals, sea lions, and walruses. It refers to the animals temporarily leaving the water to spend time on land or ice. For seals, hauling-out is necessary for mating, giving birth, and nursing. A hauling-out is essential for the animals' survival as they rest, dry out, interact, and regulate their body temperatures.




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