he Tufted Puffin is a dramatic looking bird. Its bulky bright orange bill, striking white mask and spectacular blond feather tufts streaming back along the sides of its head contrast with dark black feathers on the rest of the bird. It is excellent swimmer capable of deep dives of up to two minutes in length.
The Surf Scoter (SUSC) is a 20” sea duck that swims in or just beyond breaking waves or ocean surf. Its genus Melanitta is Latin for black and its species perspicillata is from the Latin for conspicuous or spectacular. It is limited to North America, and winters on both coasts with some on the Great Lakes.
The Common Murre (COMU) is about 17” long with a wingspan of 26”. The genus name Uria (YOU-rih-ah) is from the Greek ourein, to dive. The species name aalge (AHL-geh) is the Scandinavian word for bird. The common name (MER) is of obscure European origin and may be related to marrot, local English dialect, for an auk, guillemot, or puffin.
The cascading song of the Canyon Wren descends from cliffs and canyon walls, and is surely not forgotten once heard. It is most often heard in spring, but there are times when a mated pair will sing spontaneously at other times of year. It is a bird of the west and is found from southern British Columbia to Mexico. In Washington, the Canyon Wren resides along the eastern slope of the Cascade Range and in canyons farther east.
The Pigeon Guillemot (PIGU) is a member of the auk family and is about 13-1/2” long. It is generally found close to rocky shores along the Pacific Coast from Alaska to California. The genus name Cepphus is from the Greek kepphus meaning sea bird; the species name columba is from the Latin for dove or pigeon.
The Double-crested Cormorant (DCCO) is about 32" long and has a wing span of about 52". Its genus phalakros is from Greek for bald, and kora for crow or raven. The family includes only cormorants of which there are 30 in the world and 6 in North America. The species auritus is Latin for eared or crested and refers to the rarely seen tufts on the crown.