Charter one of our boats for a Birding Safari which is 3 - 4 hours in search of birds and wildlife in obscure coves and backwaters of the San Juan Islands. 

This tour includes a knowledgeable naturalist guide and a graciously curious Captain. 

Our vessel the Sea Lion has a fully enclosed and windowed cabin that seats 24, plus outdoor covered seating. There is also a walk around deck, seating on the bow and a large bathroom. On board we provide high quality binoculars, blankets, jackets and wildlife field guides, wildlife books and maps.

Sea Lion Vessel - San Juan Safaris
Sea Lion Vessel - San Juan Safaris

Thousands have enjoyed our feathered friends with us in addition, enjoying the interpretation of our marine environment is remarkable in and of itself. We believe a sojourn through the islands in the shoulder season (Sept - Oct & April - May) will be invigorating and rewarding.

Here is a list of birds that you are likely to see on the water in the San Juan Islands Fall, Winter and Spring. There are some birds that will stay over summer, but most will migrate by spring.

  • Pacific Loon
  • Common Loon
  • Red-Necked Grebe
  • Double-Crested Cormorant
  • Pelagic Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Canada Goose
  • Harlequin Duck
  • Surf Scoter
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Bald Eagle
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Black Oystercatcher
  • Bonaparte's Gull
  • Heermann's Gull
  • Mew Gull
  • Glaucous-Winged Gull
  • Common Murre
  • Pigeon Guillemot
  • Marbled Murrelet
  • Rhinoceros Auklet
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • White-winged Scoter
  • Red-breasted Merganser
  • Red-Necked Phalarope
  • Black Turnstone
  • Surfbird

These birds are also seen on the water but are less common:

  • Parasitic Jager
  • Sooty Shearwater
  • Fork-Tailed Storm Petrel
  • Western Gull
  • Common Tern
  • Northern Crow
  • Common Raven
  • Western Grebe
  • Horned Grebe

This list is birds that are in the islands in October, not necessarily on the water, and not listed above:

  • Pied-Billed Grebe
  • Brandt's Cormorant
  • Trumpeter Swan
  • Brant
  • Green-Winged Teal
  • Mallard Duck
  • Northern Pintail
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Gadwall
  • American Wigeon
  • Ring-Necked Duck
  • Greater Scaup
  • Lesser Scaup
  • Oldsquaw
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Barrow's Goldeneye
  • Bufflehead
  • Hooded Merganser
  • Common Merganser
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Northern Harrier
  • Sharp-Shinned Hawk
  • Cooper's Hawk
  • Red-Tailed Hawk
  • Rough-Legged Hawk
  • Golden Eagle
  • American Kestrel
  • Merlin
  • Ring-Necked Pheasant
  • Blue Grouse
  • Wild Turkey
  • Northern Bobwhite
  • California Quail
  • Virginia Rail
  • American Coot
  • Black-Bellied Plover
  • Pacific Golden-Plover
  • American Golden-Plover
  • Semipalmated Plover
  • Killdeer
  • Greater Yellowleg
  • Lesser Yellowleg
  • Solitary Sandpiper
  • Wandering Tattler
  • Whimbrel
  • Sanderling
  • Western Sandpiper
  • Least Sandpiper
  • Pectoral Sandpiper
  • Rock Sandpiper
  • Dunlin
  • Long-Billed Dowitcher
  • Herring Gull
  • Thayer's Gull
  • Ancient Murrelet
  • Rock Dove
  • Band-Tailed Pigeon
  • Mourning Dove
  • Common Barn Owl
  • Western Screech-Owl
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Short-Eared Owl
  • Northern Saw-Whet Owl
  • Red-Breasted Sapsucker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Eurasian Skylark
  • Chestnut-Backed Chickadee
  • Bushtit
  • Red-Breated Nuthatch
  • Brown Creeper
  • Bewick's Wren
  • Winter Wren
  • Marsh Wren
  • American Dipper
  • Golden-Crowned Kinglet
  • Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
  • Hermit Thrush
  • American Robin
  • Varied Thrush
  • American Pipit
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • Northern Shrike
  • European Starling
  • Hutton's Vireo
  • Yellow-Rumped Warbler
  • Spotted Towheee
  • Fox Sparrow