“The perfect birdwatching guide will point out those birds you wouldn't have seen yourself — that's David Jensen.
— Rick Hemmings, Local Paddler
Bird life abounds on Big River. During the summer season when our outrigger tours operate, the following birds are frequently seen:
The tall and graceful Great Blue Heron emits a squawk that reminds one of what a pterodactyl may have sounded like (there is a Heron rookery about a half mile up river on the south bank).
Osprey, who are excellent fishermen, are often heard before they are seen—listen for their distinctive shrill chirping call. They too have several huge nests along lower Big River. While grasping a fish with its razor-sharp talons, an individual will circle in flight for several minutes before returning to its nest.
Common Mergansers and their many offspring are ever-present in the estuary. These birds are the fastest in the world in level flight, with a cruising speed approaching 100mph.
The stocky Belted Kingfisher sits on low branches waiting for the right fish to appear underwater. This bird's rattling staccato call often reveals its whereabouts before it can be spotted.
Frequently heard but seldom seen is the Swainson's Thrush, whose haunting song spirals upward in a unique melody. Possible translation: "This is my branch, I told you yesterday and I'm telling you again today—my branch!"
Of course, many more bird species abound, including: Western Grebes, Wood Ducks, Great Egrets, Cormorants, Loons—and even the occasional Bald and Golden Eagle.
Quality life jackets and paddles provided.