Description of Bird Conservation Region 5
The coastal rainforest stretches from the western Gulf of Alaska south through British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest to northern California. Its maritime climate is characterized by heavy precipitation and mild temperatures. The region is dominated by forests of western hemlock and sitka spruce in the far north, with balsam fir, douglas fir, and coast redwood becoming more important farther south. Broadleaf forests are found along large mainland river drainages. High priority breeding forest birds include the Spotted Owl, Marbled Murrelet, Northern Goshawk, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Red-breasted Sapsucker, and Hermit Warbler. The coast of the Northern Pacific Rainforest is characterized by river deltas and pockets of estuarine and freshwater wetlands set within steep, rocky shorelines. These wetlands provide critical breeding, wintering, and migration habitat for internationally significant populations of waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species. The area includes major stopover sites for migrating shorebirds, especially Western Sandpipers and Dunlins. Black Oystercatchers, Rock Sandpipers, Black Turnstones, and Surfbirds are common wintering species. Nearshore marine areas support many breeding and wintering sea ducks. Many seabirds breed on offshore islands, including important populations of Ancient Murrelet, Rhinoceros Auklet, Tufted Puffin, Common Murre, Western and Glaucous-winged Gull, and Leach's Storm-Petrel. Pelagic waters provide habitat for large numbers of shearwaters, storm-petrels, alcids, and Black-footed Albatross.
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