From the south jetty of the Columbia River to the north spit of the Necanicum River. Includes the ocean side of Clatsop Spit, Columbia Beach, and Sunset Beach in Clatsop County, Oregon. Roughly 15 miles of wet and/or dry sand beach.

Ornithological Summary

This stretch of beach has consistently (in season) hosted huge congregations of shorebirds (primarily Sanderlings) and sometimes large flocks of gulls. The following bird records are from Marshall et al. (2003; see for original sources): A flock of 80,000 Sanderlings on Clatsop Beach 23 Jul to 6 Aug 1983 is the largest single assemblage reported in Oregon. Other peak counts include 20,000 on 21 May 1977 on Sunset Beach, 1200/mi near the s. jetty of the Columbia R. 15 May 1978, and an estimated 30,000 in 3 mi (4.8 km) of beach near the s. jetty of the Columbia R. 25 May 1978. Note that these three peak counts come from essentially the same beaches. An estimated 1,200 Heermann's Gulls were observed on Sunset Beach, Clatsop Co., in Oct 1980. On 28 Oct 1980, 1,500 Herring Gulls and 800 Thayer's gulls were among a migrant gull concentration on Clatsop Beach.

Conservation Issues

The two most likely detriments are 1) the chronic disturbance of the large flocks by hikers, their dogs, and/or their vehicles, and 2) the potential for an oil spill to injure a large number of birds at one time.


Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation

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