Protection Island National Wildlife Refuge is home to breeding, nesting, and flyway populations of close to 100 marine bird species at different times of the year. Approximately 70 percent of the nesting seabirds in our inland waters nest here, including the largest nesting colony of rhinoceros auklets in the world.
Join Puget Sound Express and the Port Townsend Marine Science Center for our popular Fall Bird Migration cruises October 6 and 13, 2012. We will head to Protection Island, leaving at 1pm, and returning around 4pm.
- Call Port Townsend Marine Science Center to reserve (360-385-5582)
The island contains one of the last 2 nesting colonies of tufted puffins in the Puget Sound area. About 1,000 harbor seals use the island as a pupping and rest area, and elephant seals often haul out to molt there during the summer. We have been leading seasonal wildlife cruises to view the changing community of birds and mammals using the sanctuary since 1984. Our cruises are hosted by seasoned naturalist Roger Risley, who provides excellent commentary on the natural history of the island and the wildlife sighted.
On these cruises we might see loons, phalaropes, mergansers, merlins, bald eagles, aukets oystercatchers, harlequin ducks, murrelets, and many other migrating and resident species. Over 85 bird species and 8 mammal species are regularly sighted on our cruises.