Birds in Washington

The state of Washington is home to a variety of bird species. It is home to around 508 different bird species. Birds in Washington range from the more commonly observed American Robin to the less usually seen Bank Swallow.

Washington’s state bird is the American Goldfinch, which was designated as the state bird in 1928. The American Goldfinch is a little yellow bird with black wings and a yellow body. It is seen year-round in Washington.

In private woodlands, Washington’s wildlife population is thriving. Deer, elk, black bears, beavers, and bats are just a few of the wildlife that calls Washington’s private forests home.

Washington birds of prey 

A raptor, or bird of prey, is a carnivorous bird that hunts and consumes other species of birds. Along with their hunting behaviors, raptors can be identified by their hooked beaks, sharp, curved talons, and superb eyesight. Thus, vultures are frequently referred to as raptors, despite the fact that they are scavengers of the dead. However, crows are referred to as scavengers, despite the fact that they rob and consume live nestlings, just as raptors do because they lack the defining physical characteristics of raptors.

Merlins, Red-tailed Hawks, Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Cooper’s Hawks, Ospreys, Sharp-shinned Hawks, American Kestrels, and Owls are all common raptors in western Washington cities.

In the section below, you may learn more about these birds of prey.

Cathartes Aura - Turkey Vulture

Cathartes Aura – Turkey Vulture

The turkey vulture, Cathartes aura in Latin, commonly known as the turkey buzzard (or simply buzzard) in North America, and ...
Pandion haliaetus - Osprey in the US

Pandion Haliaetus – Osprey

The osprey, or more particularly the western osprey, Pandion haliaetus, is a diurnal fish-eating bird of prey with a worldwide ...
Tyto Alba - Barn Owl in the US

Tyto Alba – Barn Owl

Barn owls or known in Latin as Tyto Alba hunt on the ground and eat mostly small creatures, which they ...
Falco Mexicanus - Prairie Falcon in the US

Falco Mexicanus – Prairie Falcon

In western North America, the prairie falcon, or known in Latin as Falco Mexicanus is a big falcon. Like a ...
Falco Peregrinus - Peregrine Falcon in the US

Falco Peregrinus – Peregrine Falcon

Known as the peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus, commonly known as the duck hawk in North America, is a raptor in ...
Falco columbarius - Merlin in the US

Falco columbarius – Merlin

Known as the merlin, Falco columbarius is a tiny falcon found in North America and Eurasia in the family of ...
Buteo lineatus - Red-shouldered hawk

Buteo Lineatus – Red-Shouldered Hawk

Known as the Red-shouldered hawk, Buteo lineatus, breeds in eastern North America, California, and northern and northeastern-central Mexico. Throughout its ...
Haliaeetus leucocephalus - Bald eagle in the Alaska, US

Haliaeetus Leucocephalus – Bald Eagle

The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a North American raptor. With the white-tailed eagle, it is a species pair. Its ...
Accipiter cooperii - Cooper's hawk

Accipiter Cooperii – Cooper’s Hawk

The Cooper's hawk, known to be Accipiter cooperii, is a medium-sized hawk found in southern Canada and Mexico. This species ...
Accipiter Striatus - Sharp-Shinned Hawk

Accipiter Striatus – Sharp-Shinned Hawk

The sharp-shinned hawk, Accipiter striatus, is a small but large-headed hawk that breeds from southeastern Canada and Maine south to ...
Circus Hudsonius - Northern Harrier

Circus Hudsonius – Northern Harrier

Known as the northern harrier, Circus Hudsonius is a bird of prey. It breeds throughout the northern hemisphere, including Canada ...
Aquila Chrysaetos - Golden Eagle in the United States

Aquila Chrysaetos – Golden Eagle

Because of their size and activity levels, Aquila Chrysaetos or commonly known as Golden eagles are among the most frequently ...
Buteo Jamaicensis - Red-Tailed Hawk

Buteo Jamaicensis – Red-Tailed Hawk

Buteo jamaicensis, the red-tailed hawk, breeds over much of North America, from Alaska to Panama and the West Indies. It ...
Strix nebulosa - Great gray owl in the United States

Strix Nebulosa – Great Gray Owl

When measured in length, the great grey owl or known in Latin as Strix nebulosa is the largest owl in ...
Megascops Kennicottii - Western Screech Owl

Megascops Kennicottii – Western Screech Owl

Known as the western screech owl, Megascops kennicottii in Latin, in North and Central America, it is a small owl ...
Bubo Virginianus - Great Horned Owl

Bubo Virginianus – Great Horned Owl

Bubo virginianus, the great horned owl is a big owl native to the Americas. It is the most extensively distributed ...

Eagles in Washington

Wintering eagles in Washington begin arriving in October from northern breeding grounds in Alaska and Canada. The majority of adults come in November and December, while a large number of adolescents arrive in January. In Washington, the winter distribution of bald eagles is comparable to the breeding distribution, but is more concentrated around salmon spawning streams and wintering locations for waterfowl.

Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) are year-round residents of most of Washington, with the highest populations seen in the Puget Sound region. Individuals are present in the Puget Sound basin as migrants, winter residents, and breeding population members.

In the section below, learn more about these eagles.

Owls in Washington

With hooked beaks and needle-sharp talons, the majority of owls are nocturnal predators (claws). They have broad wings, light bodies, and particularly developed feathers that let them stealthily swoop down on prey. Adult owls hoot, screech, or whistle, depending on the species. Washington is home to more than a dozen owl species.

Due to their ecological preferences, certain common owls in Washington are uncommon or unlikely to be spotted on your land. The great gray owl (mountains), the burrowing owl (shrub-steppe areas), and the threatened spotted owl are among them (old-growth forests). Around wooded rural properties, agricultural areas, and major urban parks, the following owl species are frequently observed or heard.

In the section below, learn more about these owls.

Common backyard birds of Washington

The wonderful thing about so-called “backyard birds” is their ubiquitous presence. They’re frequently only a few feet away, regardless of how metropolitan or remote our environment is.

They are the birds in the trees directly outside our windows or in the shrubs alongside city streets, the birds we are most likely to hear while out and about or even in our own houses.

In early spring in Washington state, here are some common backyard birds to listen for.

Woodpeckers in Washington

Washington State is home to a sizable wildlife and bird population.

Due to its unusual geography of coniferous and mixed forests, high heights, and coastal locations, the area is home to a rich array of woodpeckers, including sapsuckers and flickers.

Among the more common woodpecker species, there are a few unusual species that are not found in the majority of the country.

There are numerous woodpecker species that call Washington State home, and the majority of them are year-round residents.

Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers, Pileated Woodpeckers, American Three-toed Woodpeckers, Black-backed Woodpeckers, White-headed Woodpeckers, Red-breasted Sapsuckers, and Williamson’s Sapsuckers are all-year-round residents.

Discover how to recognize these birds below.

Best Birdwatching Spots in Washington

When it comes to habitat diversity, Washington is hard to surpass, with around 500 species listed on the state checklist. Mount Rainier’s snow-capped summit keeps an eye out for black oystercatchers and harlequin ducks in Puget Sound. On the Olympic Peninsula, the Hoh Rainforest is one of North America’s temperate rainforests, receiving approximately 12 feet of rain every year.

The following are the top five places to visit while in the state. Now is the time to go bird watching.

  1. Skagit Wildlife Area
  2. Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
  3. Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
  4. Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge
  5. Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve

Other Washington birds

Today, we’ll discuss the birding scene in Washington State and tell you a little about the species that may be seen there, what they like to eat, and more. Without further ado, let us review Washington’s other popular birds!

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