American Camp Visitor Center on Summer Schedule
The American Camp visitor center is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through September 1. Grounds remain open daily from dawn to 11 p.m More »
English Camp Visitor Contact Station on Summer Schedule
The English Camp visitor contact station in the Royal Marine Barracks is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily through September 1. Grounds are open daily from dawn to 11 p.m.
With more than 200 species and a varied habitat, many birders consider San Juan Island to be one of the best birdwatching areas in the state.
In the woodlands of both camps, you’ll find winter wrens, chestnut-backed chickadees and rufous hummingbirds. On the prairie, look for American goldfinches, great horned owls, and 18 varieties of raptors, from merlins to peregrine falcons to northern harriers. In spring you’ll see Savannah sparrows and vesper sparrows, and winter is a good time to see migrating seabirds.
Landbirds are an important indicator of the effects of local and regional changes in ecosystems, and studies show that many species have significant declining trends. Landbirds as well as neotropical breeding migrants that fly south for the winter (which include the rufous hummingbird, Pacific-slope flycatcher, violet-green swallow, and yellow warbler) are threatened by loss of habitat on the wintering and breeding grounds and along migration routes, domestic cat predation, brown-headed cowbird parasitism, environmental contaminants, and climate change.
In March 2013 the park took steps to counter feral cat threats by instituting a Trap Neuterand Return (TNR) program in concert with the Animal Protect Society of San Juan Island and the Ray of Hope Animal Sanctuary.
1935 publication, “Birds of the San Juan Islands”
"North Coast Cascades Network Landbird Monitoring: Report for the 2008 Field Season"
"Landbird Monitoring Protocol for National Parks"
The Birds of North America Online
BirdWeb: Learn About the Birds of Washington State
Did You Know?
The English Camp barracks was originally used as the privates' mess until extended in 1867. During the restoration process in the early 1970's a pot of gold coins and currency was found in the attic. The treasure belonged to the Crook family, who settled on the site in 1875.