The Southern Sea Otter Scientific Name: Enhydra lutris Family: Mustelidae The Elkhorn Slough has the highest density of southern sea otters in the world.  With approximately 140 sea otters living year-round in the slough you will be sure to get your fill of these adorable creatures. Related to the weasel family they are energetic and inquisitive. Since … Read more

Elegant Tern

Elegant tern (Thalasseus elegans) Commonly seen in the Elkhorn Slough during Summer and Fall, rarely in the spring and not seen in the winter A slender tern with a bill that is long thin and slightly drooping. This medium sized tern has a long, slender and pointed wing with a medium length forked tail. Their chest … Read more

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia Caspian Tern Commonly seen in the spring, summer and fall in the Elkhorn Slough The Caspian Tern is the largest tern in the world and can be as large as a big seagull and can be easily identified by its coral red bill with a black tip. The tail is less … Read more

Marbled Gotwit

Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa commonly seen in the fall, winter and spring and are unusual to see int he summer The Marbled Godwit is a large shorebird, about the size of a crow, with a small head and this neck its bill is slightly upturned and extremely long. When in flight the birds legs will … Read more

Foster’s Tern

Fosters Tern Sterna Forsteri Commonly seen Spring, Summer and Fall on the Elkhorn Slough Often confused with a Common Tern being medium sized with silvery wings and a forked tail.  Forster’s Tern have a longer tail and when not breeding with display a black eyepatch. Flying slowly over the water Forster’s Terns scan for fish … Read more

Fat Innkeeper Worm

Urechis caupo, commonly known as the fat innkeeper worm, are a species of spoon worm in the Urechidea family.  Found in shallow water on the west coast between Oregon and Baja California. The Innkeeper worm forms U Shaped burrows in the sediment and using a mucus net feeds on plankton. The common name Fat innkeeper … Read more