Newport, Oregon, on the coast, is one of our favorite places to visit. We’ve posted about Newport before. There are so many things to see and do there but one of our favs is the Oregon Coast Aquarium. All things marine belonging to the Pacific Northwest Oceans are here. We also spotted a rare, white tiger on our visit several years ago.
The Aquarium runs several “feed” events during the year, but we thought we’d zoom in on the weekend of November 4, 5, and 6. Starting on the 4th there will be a Sea Otter Feed with the largest raft of these very cute and entertaining critters as they cozy up to the aquarium’s staff during the educational presentations. If you don’t make it to the public feedings (there are 3 during the day), you can catch them on the Aquaricam throughout the facility. It is fascinating to watch them floating on their backs, cracking open clams and digging the meat out of the shells. These are everyone’s favorite marine mammal!
Also on November 4th at 11:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M., the sea lions get their meal of fresh fish. These are California Sea Lions and while they are wild marine life, the Aquarium’s lions have also learned how to lie still for check ups and flip around in the pool for exercise. Visitors can get in on some educational presentations by the staff and also some sea lion enrichment activities that include these highly intelligent protected marine life working a paint brush. If you have never seen a sea lion “feed” you are in for a treat. They know how to have fun.
Starting at 11:30 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. there is a Pelican presentation. The Brown Pelicans have been rehabilitated and demonstrate behaviors that assist the staff to care for them and to enrich the Pelican’s lives. You can view the educational presentation in the outdoor amphitheater and learn how you can help Pelicans in the wild. I think these birds look prehistoric, especially when they fly in formation, low over the surface of the water.
The Sea Bird Aviary houses six different varieties of sea birds: Tufted Puffins, Horned Puffins, Rhinoceros Auklets, Pigeon Guillemots, Common Murres and Black Oystercatchers. Never heard of most of them? We haven’t either except for Puffins. At 2:30 you can meet one of the aquarium’s aviculturists and learn how they care for almost 100 sea birds. During this informative presentation you will learn about the wild marine birds and be able to ask questions. If you visit seasonally, you will notice how the plumage of the birds varies from season to season. You might see babies on the beach at different times of the year also. This photo is from the holiday lights display at Shore Acres State Park near Charleston. You can’t miss what kind of bird this is (Puffins).
You can also get in on a “behind the scenes” tour of the facility. Learn the inter-workings of caring for swarms of stinging jellies, sharks and more than 15,000 marine life animals. There are some requirements (over 6 years only), so be sure to check those out before you go so you won’t be disappointed.
One of these tours starts November 5 at 12:30 P.M. It’s a fun way to learn about the creatures of the Pacific Northwest Ocean.
These events repeat themselves over the weekend and during the rest of the year. Don’t forget to stop in and say “Hi” to us at Umpqua River Haven (www.umpquahaven.com) coming or going to the Oregon Coast Aquarium at Newport.