Friday, September 6, 2019

30 Backyard Birds to Know | Washington State

[2022 Rewrite]

I've put this resource together for you to answer your question: What birds are in my backyard in Washington?

This article lists and discusses the identification of the most common birds in your backyard. The birds chosen in this article are compiled from actual data from the citizen science program eBird. Thus, it is more accurate than some other similar articles you may find on the web. I provide pictures of each bird species mentioned. I tell how to attract them to your backyard.


These are the most common backyard birds in Washington:

  1. American Robin
  2. American Crow
  3. Song Sparrow
  4. Dark-eyed Junco
  5. Black-capped Chickadee
  6. Northern Flicker
  7. Spotted Towhee
  8. European Starling
  9. House Finch
  10. Anna's Hummingbird
  11. Red-winged Blackbird
  12. Steller's Jay
  13. American Goldfinch
  14. White-crowned Sparrow
  15. Red-breasted Nuthatch
  16. Chestnut-backed Chickadee
  17. Bewick's Wren
  18. House Sparrow
  19. Barn Swallow
  20. Pine Siskin
  21. Violet-green Swallow
  22. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  23. Golden-crowned Kinglet
  24. Golden-crowned Sparrow
  25. Downy Woodpecker
  26. Mourning Dove
  27. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  28. Cedar Waxwing
  29. Swainson's Thrush
  30. Black-headed Grosbeak




What's in this article?

  • State overview of birds and bird watching in Washington
  • Photos and identification of common backyard birds
  • Most common birds by season
  • Common birds of Seattle, Spokane, Vancouver, and Bellingham




Washington Birds and Birding in Washington State


eBird lists over 510 types of birds as occurring in the state of Washington.

The most common bird: the most frequently seen bird in the state is American Robin. It is reported on 45% of bird watching lists.

The official State Bird of Washington is American Goldfinch.

If you are serious about knowing the birds native to Washington, then check out eBird for Washington. It has recent sightings and photos, illustrated checklists with weekly abundance bar charts for state, counties, and individual hotspots of the best birding locations.

If you want to know about other people interested in birds in your area, join a local bird group. The American Birding Association maintains a list of bird watching clubs for each state.



My other pages for birds in Washington State:

Red, Orange, & Yellow Birds of Washington

Feeding Winter Birds in Washington





Washington Bird Identification (Pictures of backyard birds of Washington)


This section is the species accounts. These are designed to help you to recognize birds you see in your backyard. I have used eBird to select the birds that are most common. “Common” means the birds seen most often throughout the year, not necessarily the most numerous.

Each species account starts with an image. I have tried to use my own personal photographs of each species, if I have them. But I've done my bird photography mostly in the West. Thus, I've had to rely on others for pictures of some common Eastern birds. I always make sure the bird images (mine and others) are correctly identified.

In the identification section I am using size and shape and bill type before considering the color or patterns on the birds. I find these more reliable when trying to identify an unknown bird. Pay attention to body and tail shape and especially bill shape of birds you see, not just plumage color.

I have written an article on how to identify birds, it is slightly different from other popular identification methods. Check it out if you wish: 7 Steps to Identify Birds.

In the section on bird feeders and foods I tell how to attract each species. Not all types of backyard birds will come to feeders. But all backyard birds can be attracted with water. So don't forget to add a birdbath to your bird feeding station.

Do you live in Western Washington? Eastern Washington? In the Puget Sound region? In Central Washington? Northwestern or southwestern Washington? To appear in this article, most birds are widely distributed throughout the state and are often year-round residents. Indeed, most of these birds are common in the entire Pacific Northwest. However, for those birds that are more localized in place or time, I list the general region and seasonality. Please see the section following these species accounts for the lists of common species by season.

Even if a species is found in a general area, they occur only in the habitat they prefer. So, the exact habitat of your neighborhood is important for the presence of absence of certain kinds of birds.



1. American Robin

Turdus migratorius

This familiar backyard bird is a resident in the northern half of the United States and a common winter visitor in the southern half.


Photo of American Robin
American Robin. Greg Gillson


Range in Washington: American Robins are year-round residents throughout Washington.

Identification: This is a key species for comparing with an unknown bird. 

Size: 10 inches long from bill tip to tail tip. About the same size as a Blue Jay or one of the Scrub-Jays. Larger than Red-winged Blackbird. Smaller than a Mourning Dove. 

Shape: Very plump with a fairly long tail. 

Bill: Straight and fairly slender, curved at the tip. 

Color: Gray-brown upperparts, rusty orange breast.

Habitat, range & behavior: Open woodlands, farmlands, urban parks and lawns. 

Migratory, breeds north across Alaska and Canada. Resident in most of the United States (lower 48). Winters in the United States, Mexico, to central America. 

Hops on your lawn turning head this way and that looking for food. Their caroling song is one of the early signs of spring in the north.

Food and feeder preference: Worms and other invertebrates in the lawn. May eat fruit from a tray feeder or the ground. Eat small berries from trees and bushes.


2. American Crow

Corvus brachyrhynchos

This larger all-black bird is common in cities and country. Its cawing call is familiar to most people.


Photo of American Crow
American Crow. Greg Gillson


Range in Washington: American Crows are year-round residents throughout Washington.

Identification: This is a key species for comparing with an unknown bird. 

Size: About 17-1/2 inches long from bill tip to tail tip, though there is much size variation throughout its range. Larger than blackbirds and grackles. Smaller than ravens. 

Shape: Thick neck, large head, rather short square-ended tail. Longer legs. In flight has rounded wing tips with each primary feather separated from others forming "fingers." 

Bill: As long as head, thick, black. 

Color: Glossy black throughout.

Habitat, range & behavior: They prefer open areas with trees, fields, farms, cities. 

They are common across most of the United States lower-48, except in the desert southwest. They move into southern Canada in summer. 

They gather in evening communal roosts in large flocks that may number into the thousands and then move out at dawn into the surrounding area.

Food and feeder preference: Diet is omnivorous, they feed on large insects, grain, small mammals, carrion. 


3. Song Sparrow

Melospiza melodia

A common bird, but variable, and similar to many other streaked brown sparrows.


Photo of Song Sparrow in bush
Song Sparrow. Greg Gillson


Range in Washington: Song Sparrows are year-round residents throughout Washington.

Identification: 

Size: A smaller bird, similar in size to House Finch and juncos. Larger than chickadees and goldfinches. Smaller than White-crowned Sparrows or Spotted/Eastern towhees. 

Shape: Plump with round head, long rounded tail. 

Bill: Short, conical. 

Color: Highly variable in darkness and color saturation across its range (dark rusty to pale gray). Generally gray-brown above with dark brown streaking on back. Complicated head pattern. Streaking on sides and breast converge into dense central breast spot.

Habitat, range & behavior: Thickets, especially near water. Backyard shrubbery. 

Resident in western United States, western Canada, coastal southern Alaska, northeastern US. In summer also moves into mid-Canada and northern half of US. In the winter found in most of the US lower-48. Also, a population in central Mexico. 

Forages on ground, never far from low cover to which they fly if startled.

Food and feeder preference: They feed on seeds and insects near the ground. Will visit hopper and tray feeders for mixed bird seed.


4. Dark-eyed Junco

Junco hyemalis

Colloquially called "snowbirds," they often arrive in backyards in winter from nearby mountain forests or more northern climes.


Dark-eyed Junco on a branch
Dark-eyed Junco. Greg Gillson


Range in Washington: Dark-eyed Juncos are year-round residents in western and northern Washington, absent in the grasslands of south-central and southeastern Washington.

Identification: 

Size: Small birds about the size of a House Finch. 

Shape: Round body, short neck, round head, fairly long square-ended tail. 

Bill: Short, pointed, conical, pink. 

Color: Eastern birds are a darker all-gray with white belly. Western birds have jet black hood over their head, brown back, and pink sides.

Habitat, range & behavior: Breed in coniferous forests. 

Winters widely. Avoids heavy brush, preferring widely spaced bushes. Breeds across most of Canada, Alaska, and the western half of the United States. Winters from southern Canada and all of the lower 48-states to extreme northern Mexico. 

Spend much of their time hopping and feeding on the ground.

Food and feeder preference: Eats mostly seeds, also insects in summer. Readily feed at backyard feeders on mixed seeds on hopper or tray feeders and ground.

You may like my in-depth article on attracting Dark-eyed Juncos.


5. Black-capped Chickadee

Poecile atricapillus

This is a common backyard bird in the northern half of the United States.


Photo of Black-capped Chickadee on bird bath
Black-capped Chickadee. Greg Gillson


Range in Washington: Black-capped Chickadees are year-round residents throughout Washington.

Identification: 

Size: Chickadees are small birds, the same general size as an American Goldfinch. 

Shape: Round body, big round head, long tail with rounded tip. 

Bill: Short, straight, stout. 

Color: Gray above, buffy below. Black cap and bib with white lower face. White edges on wing feathers.

Habitat, range & behavior: Deciduous and mixed forests. 

They range from the northern half of the United States, southern half of Canada, and most of Alaska. 

Small flocks flit actively from tree to tree acrobatically gleaning insects from twig tips. In winter chickadees make up the core of mixed-species flocks also containing nuthatches, kinglets, creepers, woodpeckers and others.

Food and feeder preference: Diet is seeds, insects, berries. They eat at tube, hopper and tray feeders. Attract with black oil sunflower seeds and suet.

You may like my in-depth article on attracting Black-capped Chickadees.


6. Northern Flicker

Colaptes auratus

Of all the bird identification questions I get asked, this common larger backyard bird is the bird most people ask about. It doesn't occur to those unfamiliar with it that this could be a woodpecker.


Photo of Northern Flicker on a branch
Northern Flicker. Greg Gillson


Range in Washington: Northern Flickers are year-round residents throughout Washington.

Identification: 

Size: About the size of a Mourning Dove. Larger than a robin. 

Shape: Stocky with short legs, short tail, big head. 

Bill: As long as head, thin, slightly curved. 

Color: Back is brown with black bars. Under parts pinkish with black spots. Undersides of black wing and tail feathers are bright salmon red (West) or yellow (East). Head gray (West) or brown (East) and males with red (West) or black (East) whisker marks and nape marks (East). Black crescent across chest. White rump seen in flight.

Habitat, range & behavior: Found in woodland edges and forests. 

Year-round resident from extreme southern Canada, across all of the lower-48 states and in the mountains of Mexico and Middle America. In summer breeds northward well into Canada and Alaska. 

Frequently noted hopping on ground pecking in the ground for insects. In late spring, males proclaim their territory by rapid pounding on a hollow tree branch, though the ringing of metal downspouts at dawn is louder and carries much farther, to the exasperation of anyone trying to sleep inside!

Food and feeder preference: Ants and beetles are their primary foods. Will eat black oil sunflower seeds and are attracted to suet.


7. Spotted Towhee

Pipilo maculatus

Look for this bird scratching in the leaf litter under bushes at the edge of your yard.


Photo of a Spotted Towhee on a rock
Spotted Towhee. Greg Gillson


Range in Washington: Spotted Towhees are year-round residents in most of Washington, absent in central and south-central Washington.

Identification: 

Size: A large sparrow, slightly larger than a White-crowned Sparrow. Larger than a House Finch. Smaller than a starling. 

Shape: A plump, large-headed sparrow with a full rounded tail. 

Bill: Short, pointed, conical. 

Color: Black above including hood. Variable number of white spots on back and wings depending upon location. White tail corners. White belly. Rusty orange sides. Red eye. Females paler, more brownish.

Habitat, range & behavior: Found in brushy areas, chaparral, mountain forest understory. 

Found throughout the western half of the United States, mountains of Mexico. In summer to southwestern Canada. In winter to Texas.

Food and feeder preference: Insects, seeds, and berries. At your birdfeeder will eat seeds on ground or platform feeder.


8. European Starling

Sturnus vulgaris

Introduced to North America in the late 1800's, they crossed the continent, often to the detriment of native cavity-nesting birds. The prime example of an invasive species.


Photo of European Starling
European Starling. Greg Gillson


Range in Washington: European Starlings are year-round residents throughout Washington.

Identification: This is a key species for comparing with an unknown bird. 

Size: 8-1/2 inches from bill tip to tail tip. About the size of a Red-winged Blackbird. Smaller than an American Robin. Larger than a White-crowned Sparrow or Spotted/Eastern towhee. 

Shape: Stocky with large head, short square-ended tail. Longer legs. 

Bill: As long as head. Sharp pointed. Yellow in spring, otherwise dark. 

Color: They are grayish brown much of the year, with glossy iridescence and white spotting during the spring.

Habitat, range & behavior: Lowland birds that need trees large enough for nest cavities but plenty of open area for feeding. They are most abundant in urban and suburban areas where they find food and artificial nest cavities. 

Resident from coast-to-coast from southern Canada to northern Mexico. In summer north across Canada and Alaska. Native range is Europe to Pakistan, north Africa. 

Often viewed as a pest, starlings often bully other backyard birds, taking over bird feeders, and stealing nest cavities from smaller native birds. In winter they can form into flocks of tens of thousands.

Food and feeder preference: Primarily insects when available, often feeding on the ground. Discourage them from your backyard hopper and tray feeders by never feeding birds table scraps (including bread or meat). They have weak feet and do not perch well on tube feeders. A cage mesh around smaller hopper feeders may keep them out.


9. House Finch

Haemorhous mexicanus

Originally a bird of the West, now found in backyards across most of the US. There are other red finches, but these are the ones most likely in residential areas.


Photo of a House Finch in a bird bath
House Finch. Greg Gillson


Range in Washinton: House Finches are year-round residents in western, central, and southeastern Washington, absent in northeastern Washington.

Identification: This is a key species for comparing with an unknown bird. 

Size: About 6 inches from bill tip to tail tip. Larger than goldfinches and chickadees. Smaller than a White-crowned Sparrows or Spotted/Eastern towhees. 

Shape: Medium build with a medium-long notched tail. Round head. 

Bill: Short, conical. 

Color: Brown and gray above with streaks on the sides of the pale underparts. Males with red (sometimes orange or rarely yellow) crown, chest, rump.

Habitat, range & behavior: You'll find small flocks on wires, in short treetops and in bushes. Originally deserts and grasslands. Rural areas and towns are where they're now most common. 

Formerly found in the western United States and Mexico. Then introduced into the northeastern United States, but now found in nearly all of the lower-48 states and extreme southern Canada. Rare in plains states (Dakotas to Texas) and southern Florida. 

House Finches are not territorial, but males sing throughout the year--a lively, wiry song ending in a couple of buzzy notes.

Food and feeder preference: Attract with sunflower seeds and tube feeders. May eat from thistle socks.

You may like my in-depth article on attracting House Finches.


10. Anna's Hummingbird

Calypte anna

This big West Coast bird is a resident hummingbird everywhere there are people!


Photo of Anna's Hummingbird
Anna's Hummingbird. Greg Gillson.


Range in Washington: Anna's Hummingbirds are year-round residents in western, south-central, and northeastern Washington, absent in north-central and southeastern Washington.

Identification: 

Size: Slightly larger than widespread hummingbirds like Ruby-throated in the east and Rufous Hummingbird in the west. Smaller than a goldfinch or chickadee. 

Shape: Plump, with long wings covering tail. Unmistakable long bill. 

Bill: Longer than head, round, slightly downcurved. 

Color: Green upper parts, gray under parts with greenish cast on sides. Male with entire head and throat covered in iridescent metallic rose pink. Female usually has pink throat spot.

Habitat, range & behavior: Chaparral, open woods, suburban gardens all host this species. 

Formerly only in northern Baja and southern California they expanded to Arizona, and all the way to southern Alaska along the Pacific coast, following plantings of winter blooming flowers and the popularity of placing out hummingbird feeders. 

Nest early (December to February), even as they colonize northward and encounter snow in winter.

Food and feeder preference: Nectar and small insects is the main food of Anna's Hummingbirds. Both are available in flowering plants. Quickly find hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water.


11. Red-winged Blackbird

Agelaius phoeniceus

These noisy flocking birds are most often found in marshes. But in winter they are found in backyards.


Photo of singing Red-winged Blackbird
Male Red-winged Blackbird. Greg Gillson.

Photo of female Red-winged Blackbird in tree
Female Red-winged Blackbird. Greg Gillson.


Range in Washington: Red-winged Blackbirds are year-round residents throughout Washington.

Identification: This is a key species for comparing with an unknown bird.

Size: About 8-3/4 inches long from bill tip to tail tip. About the size of a Northern Cardinal. Smaller than an American Robin.

Shape: Pot-bellied with a longer bill and flat forehead. Tail average.

Bill: Long and sharp pointed.

Color: Males are black with red and yellow shoulder patch. Females are streaked brown and rusty (sparrow-like but pointed bill and flat forehead).

Habitat, range, and behavior: Cattail marshes and wetlands are their summer habitat. In winter they feed in grain fields.

They breed across most of the North American continent. In winter they withdraw from most of Alaska and Canada.

They are found in colonies in summer and large flocks in winter.

Food and feeder preference: They eat insects in summer. In winter they eat grain and seeds. They visit feeders, more often in large winter flocks, and eat most seeds and suet.


12. Steller's Jay

Cyanocitta stelleri

This jay with the black crested head is common in the damp mountain forests of the West.


Photo of Steller's Jay eating on the lawn
Steller's Jay. Greg Gillson


Range in Washington: Steller's Jays are year-round residents in most of Washington, absent in southcentral Washington.

Identification: 

Size: These birds are the size of American Robins or Northern Mockingbirds. They are larger than European Starlings or Red-winged Blackbirds. 

Shape: Strong body, thick neck, big head with prominent crest. Strong legs and feet. Full rounded tail. 

Bill: Long, stout, curved near tip. 

Color: Deep blue body throughout. Black head and crest.

Habitat, range & behavior: Coniferous and mixed forests, residential areas near such forests. Damp forests near the coast to mountain forests near timberline. 

A resident from coastal Alaska to Middle America. Northwest coastal forests, mountains of West Coast and Rocky Mountains, south through Mexico. 

Forage on the ground, hopping. Climbs tree by hopping up branches. Scavenge for food in campgrounds. May be found in large flocks. Bold, aggressive, social.

Food and feeder preference: Omnivorous, they eat a wide variety of nuts, fruits, seeds, berries, eggs, invertebrates, small rodents, human food scraps. At hopper and tray feeders will eat sunflower seeds, nuts, including peanuts. Eat suet.


13. American Goldfinch

Spinus tristis

A beautiful tiny backyard finch familiar to many in its bright yellow summer plumage. Colloquially called a "wild canary."


Photo of American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch. Greg Gillson


Range in Washington: American Goldfinches are year-round residents throughout most of Washington, but summer residents only along the northern border of the state.

Identification: This is a key species for comparing with an unknown bird. 

Size: Very small at about 5 inches from bill tip to tail tip. Similar in size to a chickadee. Larger than hummingbirds. Smaller than juncos and House Finches. 

Shape: Tiny, somewhat plump with larger head and short tail. 

Bill: Short, conical, pink. 

Color: Males in summer are bright lemon yellow with black forehead and black wings and tail with white bars. White under tail coverts. Females are dull olive, wings and tail browner. Winter birds are pale grayish-yellow with tan and brown wings and tail.

Habitat, range & behavior: This species is found in weedy fields and similar clearings with thistles and similar plants. 

It is found coast-to-coast throughout the year across most of the middle lower-48 states. In summer moves north to the Canada border. In the winter found south to the Mexico border. 

The flight is highly undulating, rising and falling as they flap in short bursts. Besides a long, sweet lilting song, they call in flight a lilting 4-part: "potato chip!"

Food and feeder preference: Feeds on weed seeds, thistle seed. May eat black oil sunflower seeds from tube feeder. Attract with Niger seed in a feeder called a "thistle sock."

You may like my in-depth article on attracting American Goldfinches.


14. White-crowned Sparrow

Zonotrichia leucophrys

A common winter visitor to backyards throughout the United States.


Photo of White-crowned Sparrow in Douglas-fir
White-crowned Sparrow. Greg Gillson.


Range in Washington: White-crowned Sparrows are year-round residents in western Washington, winter visitors only throughout.

Identification: This is a key species for comparing with an unknown bird. 

Size: About 7 inches. A large sparrow near size of Spotted/Eastern towhee. Larger than House Finch. Smaller than Starling or Red-winged Blackbird. 

Shape: Longer plump body, round head, long tail. 

Bill: Short and conical. 

Color: Brown back, wings, tail, gray under parts, black-and-white striped crown. For their first year immature birds have tan and reddish-brown striped crowns.

Habitat, range & behavior: Open and shrubby areas. 

Various forms breed across the Arctic Canada and Alaska and in mountains in western Canada and the United States. 

They sing in spring migration as they move northward. Different populations have slightly different songs.

Food and feeder preference: White-crowned Sparrows eat weed seeds, grain, insects. Eat black oil sunflower seeds and other seeds on hopper and tray feeders.


15. Red-breasted Nuthatch

Sitta canadensis

These small birds are common in conifer groves and mountain forests.


Photo of Red-breasted Nuthatch on branch
Red-breasted Nuthatch. Greg Gillson.


Range in Washington: Red-breasted Nuthatches are year-round residents throughout all of western and northern Washington, winter visitors only in southeastern Washington.

Identification:

Size: Smaller than Black-capped Chickadees and American Goldfinches, larger than kinglets.

Shape: Compact body with large head on short neck. Stubby tail.

Bill: Fairly long and sharp-pointed.

Color: Dark blue-gray back and upper parts. Black crown and line through eye, showing long white eyebrow. White face and rusty underparts. Females paler.

Habitat, range & behavior: Conifer trees in forests and residential areas.

Found from Alaska and across Canada, mountains of Northeast and much of the West. Winter visitor south throughout most of the United States.

Crawls actively on bark on tree trunks and around smaller branches, often head-first down the tree.

Food and feeder preference: Eat insects and invertebrates. Cache nuts and seeds in fall to eat later in the winter. At feeders eat sunflower seeds, peanuts, other nuts from hopper and tube feeders, and suet.


16. Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Poecile rufescens

These tame little chickadees are found in western conifer forests.


Photo of Chestnut-backed Chickadee in pine tree
Chestnut-backed Chickadee. Greg Gillson.


Range in Washington: Chestnut-backed Chickadees are year-round residents in western Washington and mountains in extreme northeastern and southeastern Washington.

Identification:

Size: A small bird, about the same size as an American Goldfinch.

Shape: Fluffy, chunky bird with big head and shorter tail.

Bill: Short and stout.

Color: White side of face with contrasting dark crown and black throat. Under parts gray. Back chestnut colored. Northern birds have rust sides and flanks, lacking on birds in the San Francisco Bay area.

Habitat, range & behavior: Found in damp conifer forests along coast, in lowland residential areas and mountains.

They are found from coastal Alaska south to Idaho and northwestern California.

They are quite noisy as the travel in flocks with their chickadee calls. They may be high in the conifer trees or low down to the forest floor. They may come to your feeders all day in fall to remove one sunflower seed at a time and cache it--hiding it in an old nest hole. Then they will have a store of seeds for later in winter.

Food and feeder preference: More than half their diet is insects. However, you can attract them to your backyard feeder with black oil sunflower seeds.


17. Bewick's Wren

Thryomanes bewickii

This is a brush-loving bird that may hide in your backyard hedges.


Photo of Bewick's Wren on stick
Bewick's Wren. Greg Gillson.


Range in Washington: Bewick's Wrens are year-round residents in western, north-central, and south-central Washington, winter visitors only to southeastern Washington, absent in much of central and eastern Washington.

Identification:

Size: These are fairly small birds, about the size of House Finches.

Shape: They are rather stocky, with short neck, long floppy tail, fairly long legs.

Bill: Long, thin, slightly curved.

Color: Different populations can be more gray or more brown. Barred brown and black tail. Pale gray under parts. The white eyebrow is diagnostic.

Habitat, range, and behavior: These birds are found in brushy tangles, chaparral, backyard bushes.

These birds live along the West Coast from southern British Columba southward into Mexico, the Southwest, east to Missouri.

They stay hidden in dense brush except in spring when they sing loudly from exposed perches.

Food and feeder preference: Bewick's Wrens eat primarily insects and invertebrates. They will come to feeders in winter for suet.


18. House Sparrow

Passer domesticus

Like the starling, this is another bird introduced from Europe in the 1800's. This sparrow is commonly found in cities and farmlands. It is considered a pest in most areas where it has been introduced.


Photo of House Sparrow on feeder with sunflower seed
House Sparrow. Greg Gillson


Range in Washington: House Sparrows are year-round residents throughout Washington.

Identification: 

Size: The size of a House Finch or Dark-eyed Junco. 

Shape: Chunkier than native North American sparrows with large head, barrel chest, short neck, medium tail, short legs. 

Bill: Short, conical. 

Color: Males are brown and gray with a black mask. Females lack the black and are tan and brown with a pale line back from the eye.

Habitat, range & behavior: Cities and farms. 

Range in North American from southern Canada through Central America. In summer northward through Canada to southern Alaska. Originated in Middle East and spread to most of Europe and Asia. Introduced in South America, Africa, Australia--nearly anywhere there are people and cities. 

They tend to be messy... and have a good appetite and may occur in large noisy chirping flocks. They are aggressive toward other feeder birds.

Food and feeder preference: They eat grain, seed, and insects. To discourage them from your hopper and tray feeders do not feed birds human food scraps. They have a bit of difficulty eating from tube feeders.


19. Barn Swallow

Hirundo rustica

These swallows are widely distributed throughout the world, primarily breeding in the northern hemisphere, and wintering in the mid-latitudes and southern hemisphere.


Photo of a Barn Swallow on a barbed wire fence
Barn Swallow. Greg Gillson.


Range in Washington: Barn Swallows are summer residents throughout Washington.

Identification: 

Size: About the size of a House Finch but with a much longer tail. 

Shape: Stocky, short necked but with long body and tail. Tail is forked, with very long outer tail feathers. Wings pointed. 

Bill: Short, wide. 

Color: Glossy dark purplish-blue above. Pinkish-orange below. 

Habitat, range & behavior: Barn Swallows live in open country, frequently near humans. Farmlands. Nest in barns, under small bridges. 

In North America breed from Mexico to northern Canada and Alaska, wintering from southern Mexico throughout most of South America. 

Frequently seen swooping low over the ground hunting flying insects. Perch on wires, fences. Voice is twitters and chirps with grating sounds. 

Food and feeder preference: Eat flying insects on the wing and are not attracted to backyard feeders.


20. Pine Siskin

Spinus pinus

These are streaky goldfinch-like birds. Often found in flocks. Irregularly, following a poor cone crop in the north, they move far south in winter, showing up well south of their usual winter range.


Photo of Pine Siskins in birdbath
Pine Siskin. Greg Gillson


Range in Washington: Pine Siskins are year-round residents in western, northern, and central Washington, winter visitors only in southeastern Washington.

Identification:

Size: Tiny bird, the size of American Goldfinch. Smaller than other finches and sparrows.

Shape: Small round head. Short forked tail.

Bill: Short. Wide at the base, straight and sharply pointed.

Color: Heavily streaked with brown. Wing bars. Patches of yellow in wing and base of tail. Much individual variation from dull brown to brighter yellow.

Habitat, range, & behavior: Montane forests, conifer, birch, alder. Lowlands in winter.

Summers across Canada and the West into Mexico. Also breed from Midwest to Northeast states bordering Canada. Winters from southern Canada and throughout the United States but varying in numbers from year-to-year in southern portions.

Feed in treetops, often in large swirling flocks.

Food and feeder preference: Eat cone seeds. Love black oil sunflower seeds from tube feeder. Attract with Niger seed at thistle feeders.


21. Violet-green Swallow

Tachycineta thalassina


Photo of Violet-green Swallow on branch
Violet-green Swallow. Greg Gillson.


Range in Washington: Violet-green Swallows are summer residents throughout Washington.

Identification:

Size: About the size of American Goldfinches, but with longer wings.

Shape: Round head, thicker chest and long thin body. Very short tail. Long pointed wings.

Bill: Very short and wide.

Color: Lime green upper back, violet lower back. White sides to rump. Black wings and tail. White underparts and face that nearly encircles eyes.

Habitat, range & behavior: Open skies above forests and residential areas.

Summers from Alaska, western Canada, and the western US and Mexico. Winters in southern Mexico.

Food and feeder preference: Flying insects caught on the wing. Do not come to bird feeders but will use bird houses.


22. Yellow-rumped Warbler

Setophaga coronata

An abundant winter visitor across the United States to treetops and weedy areas.


Photo of Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler. Greg Gillson.


Range in Washington: Yellow-rumped Warblers are year-round residents in northwestern Washington, summer residents in northern, southwestern and south-central Washhington, and winter visitors only in southeastern Washington.

Identification: 

Size: Small, they are a bit larger than chickadees and goldfinches. They are smaller than House Finches and juncos. 

Shape: Plump and neckless with a shorter tail. 

Bill: Short, slender, straight, pointed. 

Color: Breeding plumage in spring is blue-gray on the upper parts, black sides and chest, yellow rump, yellow on sides. Two forms: western form with yellow throat and large white wing patch; eastern and northern form with white throat and two white wing bars. In winter plumage both forms are gray-brown above, pale cream below. Yellow rump and white tail corners in flight.

Habitat, range & behavior: In breeding season mostly in coniferous or mixed forests, in mountains in west. In winter open areas with fruiting shrubs and scattered trees. 

Breed across Canada and Alaska and in conifer forests in the west. Winter along both coasts and the southern states through Middle America. There are also non-migratory forms in Mexico and Guatemala. 

They tend to forage in outer branches about half way up the tree.

Food and feeder preference: Yellow-rumped Warblers eat mainly insects in the summer. They switch to waxy berries and fruit in winter. They are thus able to winter farther north than other warblers. They are attracted to suet feeders.


23. Golden-crowned Kinglet

Regulus satrapa

These tiny birds are often found high up in conifer treetops. Their wavering high-pitched calls and songs are almost above human hearing.


Photo of Golden-crowned Kinglet in alder tree
Golden-crowned Kinglet. Greg Gillson.


Range in Washington: Golden-crowned Kinglets are year-round residents in western Washington, winter visitors only in eastern Washington.

Identification:

Size: Tiny, smaller than chickadee or goldfinch.

Shape: Round, compact, with round head. Short forked tail. Thin legs and yellow feet.

Bill: Tiny, thin, blunt.

Color: Olive above, pale gray below. Dark mask around eye, white eyebrow stripe, black lateral crown stripe encircling a bright yellow crown.

Range, habitat & behavior: Summer residents across Canada. Year-round residents in coastal Alaska and mounains of the West and Northeast. Winter visitors throughout most of the United States.

Found in damp spruce and fir forests.

On damp, foggy mornings flocks may descend to the forest floor or backyards to glean insects. Usually, however, stay quite high in the forest canopy.

Food and feeder preference: Feed on insects gleaned on branches. Do not come to feeders.


24. Golden-crowned Sparrow

Zonotrichia atricapilla

In winter, Golden-crowned Sparrows have a dully striped crown, very similar to the brown-and-tan crown pattern of White-crowned Sparrows in their first winter.


Photo of Golden-crowned Sparrow on bush
Golden-crowned Sparrow. Greg Gillson.


Range in Washington: Golden-crowned Sparrows are winter visitors in western Washington, spring and fall migrants in eastern Washington.

Identification:

Size: These are the same size as White-crowned Sparrows, a larger sparrow.

Shape: These are the same shape as White-crowned Sparrows. They are fairly large and long-tailed sparrows.

Bill: Short and stout conical bill. Dark colored.

Color: Tan brown above and striped with dark brown and pale gray on the back. Under parts gray with buff warm tones on the flanks. Breeding crown has yellow center (dull in winter) outlined with black. In winter the crown is finely streaked brown with a yellow tinge on the fore crown.

Habitat, range, and behavior: Boreal and tree line for breeding. In winter, tangles in woodland edges, brushy roadside edges with small saplings.

These sparrows breed from Alaska to southern British Columbia. They spend the winter from southern British Columbia to northern Baja California.

They tend to spend the winters in flocks with White-crowned Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. They come out into the open to feed on the ground, such as a road edge, then flush back to into the tangles when disturbed.

Food and feeder preference: They eat more buds and plant material than White-crowned Sparrows. They love black oil sunflower seeds at hopper and platform feeders.


25. Downy Woodpecker

Dryobates pubescens

This tiny woodpecker is found in backyards across the United States.


Photo of Downy Woodpecker on suet block
Downy Woodpecker. Greg Gillson


Range in Washington: Downy Woodpeckers are year-round residents throughout Washington.

Identification: 

Size: Bigger than a junco or House Finch. Smaller than a Red-winged Blackbird. About the same size as a White-crowned Sparrow, but with a much shorter tail. 

Shape: Stocky with large head and short stiff tail. 

Bill: Short, chisel shaped. 

Color: Black-and-white striped head. Black wings with white spots. Solid white back. White under parts. Black tail with white outer tail feathers with black bars or spots. Male with small red spot at back of head.

Habitat, range & behavior: Found in small deciduous trees, willows, and even weed stocks such as teasel, especially near water. 

Ranges coast-to-coast across all but northernmost parts of Canada and Alaska south to the southern US. Absent in the desert southwest. 

Interestingly, I learned today that the males may more often be found in smaller plants and twigs, while females are more likely on tree trunks.

Food and feeder preference: Diet is insects, fruits, and seeds. Gleans arthropods from the bark of trees. Attract with suet feeder. Will also eat black oil sunflower seeds.


26. Mourning Dove

Zenaida macroura

Mourning Doves are the most widespread and most frequent backyard bird in the Lower 48 states of the United States.


Photo of Mourning Dove in a tree
Mourning Dove. Greg Gillson.


Range in Washington: Mourning Doves are year-round residents throughout Washington.

Identification: This is a key species for comparing with an unknown bird. 

Size: About 12 inches long from bill tip to tail tip. About same size as Northern Flicker. Larger than American Robin. Slightly smaller than domestic city pigeon. 

Shape: Very plump with a small round head. Tail is long and pointed. Legs are short. 

Bill: Small and rather slender. 

Color: Pale brown-pink body, darker wings and tail. White edges on side of tail.

Habitat, range & behavior: Semi-open areas such as urban areas, farmlands, woods. Often seen perched on wires, fences. 

It is a resident across the lower-48 states and Mexico, with some movement out of northern areas in winter. 

Their mournful cooing is a familiar spring birdsong.

Food and feeder preference: Mourning Doves eat seeds almost exclusively. Attract with black oil sunflower seeds on a large sturdy tray feeder or on the ground.


27. Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Regulus calendula

These tiny little hyperactive balls of feathers are very similar in appearance to sluggish Hutton's Vireos. Note the yellow feet and skinny black legs of the kinglet.


Photo of Ruby-crowned Kinglet on twigs
Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Greg Gillson.


Range in Washington: Ruby-crowned Kinglets are summer residents in high mountains (Cascades of western Washington), year-round residents in mountains of northeastern Washington, winter visitors only in lowlands and coast range of western Washington, absent in southeastern Washington.

Identification:

Size: Smaller than a chickadee or goldfinch.

Shape: Plump, almost round body with round head merging into the body almost without neck. Very short tail. Thin legs.

Bill: Very short, rather thin.

Color: Olive-green, tending toward gray, especially on the head. Paler yellow-green below. Wing gray with yellow-green edges to the wing feathers. Two white wing bars with distinctive black panel below the lower wing panel. White eye ring slightly broken on top and bottom. Red crown of male only shows when agitated. Legs very thin, black, with obvious yellow soles to the feet.

Habitat, range, and behavior: Mountain conifers in summer, brushy patches and chaparral in winter. Residential landscaping hedges and bushes.

Breeds in Alaska, across Canada, and mountains of the West. Migrates through all of US. Winters in coastal East, Southeast, West, into Mexico.

Active flitting from branch to branch, in interior of bushes and small trees, in short flap-hops. Constantly twitches wings. Hover-gleans at leaf tips.

Food and feeder preference: Ruby-crowned Kinglets feed in bushes next to house looking for spiders and insects. May eat at suet feeder.


28. Cedar Waxwing

Bombycilla cedrorum

Waxy red tips to the wing feathers give these birds their unique name. Maybe it's the fancy crest. Maybe it's the bandit mask. Maybe it's the yellow band at the tip of its tail. But these are one of my favorite birds.


Photo of Cedar Waxwing on branch
Cedar Waxwing. Greg Gillson.


Range in Washington: Cedar Waxwings are year-round residents throughout Washington.

Identification:

Size: Smaller than European Starling. Larger than House Sparrow.

Shape: Similar to European Starling. Rather stocky. Short squared tail, but long under tail coverts. Large head. Pointed wings. Wispy crest.

Bill: Rather short, small, wide.

Color: Warm brown above with wispy crest. Black mask. Yellowish belly. White under tail coverts. Gray wings. Gray tail with yellow tip.

Habitat, range, & behavior: Deciduous woods, wooded streams and lakeshores, residential shade trees, fruit orchards.

Resident across the northern US. Summer resident in Canada. Winter visitor throughout all of US and Mexico.

Keep in tight flocks. Feed in trees and large bushes for berries. Fly catch over ponds and streams.

Food and feeder preference: Berries and flying insects. Usually don't come to feeders unless fruit like cherries offered but will visit bird baths.


29. Swainson's Thrush

Catharus ustulatus

These birds migrate at night. Their distinctive weep calls are often heard in backyards as they fly over, often several birds per minute in late September.


Photo of Swainson's Thrush on branch
Swainson's Thrush. Greg Gillson.


Range in Washington: Swainson's Thrushes are summer residents in western, northern, northeastern and southeastern Washington, spring and fall migrants throughout.

Identification:

Size: These are about the length of a White-crowned Sparrow--but with larger body and shorter tail. Smaller than Red-winged Blackbird.

Shape: Large breast. Square-ended tail. Long face and bill.

Bill: Rather long and straight.

Color: Brown above, western populations showing a slightly rusty cast. Breast is cream and belly paler. Blurry brown spots on upper breast, fainter along sides. Thin buffy eye ring.

Habitat, range & behavior: Alder under story in moist woods, re-growing clear cuts. Streamside woodlands.

Breed in summer from Alaska and across Canada, the Northeast, and widely in forests of the West. Winter in South America.

These common birds will only be found if your backyard has thick undergrowth. They love to hide!

Food and feeder preference: They eat invertebrates and fruit. Do not come to feeders. Will come to low bird baths.


30. Black-headed Grosbeak

Pheucticus melanocephalus

This is the western counterpart of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak that is common in the East.


Photo of Black-headed Grosbeak in feeder
Black-headed Grosbeak. Greg Gillson.


Range in Washington: Black-headed Grosbeaks are summer residents throughout Washington.

Identification:

Size: Larger than Spotted Towhee. Smaller than American Robin. Similar in size to Red-winged Blackbird.

Shape: Kind of a chunky bird with pot belly. Large head. Somewhat short tail.

Bill: Very heavy and stout. Triangular.

Color: Males: black face. Black and orange striped back. Wings black with white patches and spots. Tail black with white corners. Underparts are orange, yellow on the belly. Females and young for first year-and-a-half: face striped black and cream. Pale orange and yellow under parts. Striped brown and orange back. Wings brownish with white wing bars.

Habitat, range & behavior: Deciduous woods and large shade trees in residential yards.

Breeds in western Canada and western United States. Winters in Mexico.

Males often sing a robin-like song from the top of a large shade tree, such as a big leaf maple.

Food and feeder preference: Beetles, spiders, fruit, seeds, and berries are favorite foods. At backyard hopper feeder they love black oil sunflower seeds.





Common Birds in Washington (Lists of most common feeder birds and most common backyard birds by season)


To determine how common each species is I used the data from actual bird sightings from the citizen science program eBird. Birds are listed by frequency. That is, how often the species is recorded on checklists submitted to eBird (a percentage).

When choosing the birds to include in this article I leaned strongly to birds that are present throughout the year in good numbers. Thus, many of the common birds are year-round residents. This means that they live in the same location all year. They raise their young in your neighborhood. They don't migrate. Or if the species does migrate, the ones living in your area don't. If this is the case, some migrants may move into your area during certain times of year, adding to the same species that are in your yard full time.

Some migrant birds visit your yard during the “summer.” Often, they arrive in spring and remain until late fall. They nest and raise their young in your neighborhood. These are the summer residents.

Other migrant birds visit your backyard during the “winter.” Some of these winter visitors may arrive in July and remain into April. Others may only be found in the cold of December or January. They key here is that they nest and raise their young somewhere else. They only visit your yard in the non-breeding season.

Migration is an amazing spectacle. There will be birds that fly through your region in spring or fall (or both). They may visit your backyard only a few days or weeks a year. They aren't regular enough, or stay long enough, to be included in this article. But the number of briefly visiting migrant birds could double the number of species presented here. You may see them over time. Consult checklists in eBird for your county to see what is possible.

I have generally excluded common waterfowl, birds of prey, shorebirds, seabirds, and others that aren't usually found in residential areas. But they may certainly fly over or be seen regularly if your home is on a shoreline, for instance.



Most common backyard birds in Washington throughout the year


The following list is the backyard birds that are, on average, most common throughout the entire year. The list is ordered by most common based on the frequency of how often each species is recorded on checklists submitted to eBird.


The most common backyard birds throughout the year in the state of Washington, in order, are these:

  1. American Robin (45% frequency)
  2. American Crow (45%)
  3. Song Sparrow (43%)
  4. Dark-eyed Junco (37%)
  5. Black-capped Chickadee (35%)
  6. Northern Flicker (32%)
  7. Spotted Towhee (31%)
  8. European Starling (29%)
  9. House Finch (25%)
  10. Anna's Hummingbird (22%)
  11. Red-winged Blackbird (22%)
  12. Steller's Jay (20%)
  13. American Goldfinch (19%)
  14. White-crowned Sparrow (18%)
  15. Red-breasted Nuthatch (18%)
  16. Chestnut-backed Chickadee (17%)
  17. Bewick's Wren (16%)
  18. House Sparrow (13%)
  19. Barn Swallow (12%)
  20. Pine Siskin (12%)
  21. Violet-green Swallow (12%)
  22. Yellow-rumped Warbler (11%)
  23. Golden-crowned Kinglet (11%)
  24. Golden-crowned Sparrow (10%)
  25. Downy Woodpecker (10%)
  26. Mourning Dove (10%)
  27. Ruby-crowned Kinglet (10%)



Most common backyard birds in Washington in winter


The following list is the backyard birds that are most common in winter. The list is ordered by most common based on the frequency of how often each species is recorded on checklists submitted to eBird.


The most common backyard birds in Washington in winter (December through February) are these:

  1. Dark-eyed Junco (45% frequency)
  2. Song Sparrow (44%)
  3. American Crow (42%)
  4. Black-capped Chickadee (38%)
  5. American Robin (32%)
  6. Northern Flicker (31%)
  7. Spotted Towhee (31%)
  8. European Starling (27%)
  9. Anna's Hummingbird (25%)
  10. House Finch (23%)



Most common backyard birds in Washington in summer


The following list is the backyard birds that are most common in summer (June and July). The list is ordered by most common based on the frequency of how often each species is recorded on checklists submitted to eBird.


The most common backyard birds in Washington in summer (June and July) are these:

  1. American Robin (58% frequency)
  2. American Crow (43%)
  3. Song Sparrow (42%)
  4. Spotted Towhee (33%)
  5. American Goldfinch (31%)
  6. Black-capped Chickadee (30%)
  7. Dark-eyed Junco (30%)
  8. Barn Swallow (29%)
  9. European Starling (27%)
  10. Northern Flicker (27%)
  11. Violet-green Swallow (26%)
  12. Cedar Waxwing (25%)
  13. House Finch (25%)
  14. Swainson's Thrush (23%)
  15. Red-winged Blackbird (23%)
  16. White-crowned Sparrow (22%)
  17. Black-headed Grosbeak (21%)
  18. Red-breasted Nuthatch (20%)



How do birds differ in frequency between winter and summer?

In winter Dark-eye Juncos and Black-capped Chickadees are more common.

In summer American Robins, American Goldfinches, Barn Swallows, Violet-green Swallows, Cedar Waxwings, Swainson's Thrushes, White-crowned Sparrows and Black-headed Grosbeaks are more common.





Common Backyard Birds of Seattle, Washington


Photo of Steller's Jay in the grass
Steller's Jay. Greg Gillson


The following list uses eBird data to create a list of common backyard birds in Seattle. The city of Seattle is in King County. I will use the data for King County to represent the birds of the Seattle area.

Backyard birds are similar in nearby Redmond and Tacoma.


Here are the most common backyard birds throughout the year in Seattle:

  1. American Crow (60% frequency)
  2. Black-capped Chickadee (55%)
  3. American Robin (54%)
  4. Song Sparrow (52%)
  5. Dark-eyed Junco (42%)
  6. Spotted Towhee (40%)
  7. Anna's Hummingbird (39%)
  8. Northern Flicker (39%)
  9. Bewick's Wren (32%)
  10. House Finch (31%)
  11. European Starling (28%)
  12. Steller's Jay (26%)
  13. Chestnut-backed Chickadee (23%)
  14. American Goldfinch (23%)
  15. Bushtit (21%)  Learn about this species on eBird



Because Seattle is in the wetter western 1/3 of the state there are several birds of the temperate rain forest on this list that are more common than in the state as a whole. These birds include Bewick's Wrens, Steller's Jays, and Chestnut-backed Chickadees. American Crows are the most common bird in this area adjacent to Puget Sound.





Common Backyard Birds of Spokane, Washington


The following list uses eBird data to create a list of common backyard birds in Spokane. The city of Spokane is in Spokane County. I will use the data for Spokane County to represent the birds of the Spokane area.


Here are the most common backyard birds throughout the year in Spokane:

  1. American Robin (43% frequency)
  2. Song Sparrow (41%)
  3. House Finch (39%)
  4. Northern Flicker (39%)
  5. Black-capped Chickadee (35%)
  6. Red-winged Blackbird (32%)
  7. European Starling (31%)
  8. American Goldfinch (31%)
  9. Black-billed Magpie (30%)  Learn about this species on eBird
  10. California Quail (26%)  Learn about this species on eBird
  11. Pygmy Nuthatch (25%)  Learn about this species on eBird
  12. Dark-eyed Junco (25%)
  13. Red-breasted Nuthatch (21%)
  14. Mountain Chickadee (21%)  Learn about this species on eBird
  15. House Sparrow (20%)
  16. Mourning Dove (20%)



Because Spokane is on the edge of the dry Columbia Plateau and the North Central Rockies forests ecoregion, it has many common backyard birds different from the temperate rainforests of western Washington.

Less common birds in Spokane than in the rest of the state are American Crow, Spotted Towhee, Anna's Hummingbird, and Steller's Jay.

Birds that are more common in the Spokane area than in the rest of the state are Black-billed Magpie, California Quail, Pygmy Nuthatch, and Mountain Chickadee.





Common Backyard Birds of Vancouver, Washington


The following list uses eBird data to create a list of common backyard birds in Vancouver. The city of Vancouver is in Clark County. I will use the data for Clark County to represent the birds of the Vancouver area.


Here are the most common backyard birds throughout the year in Vancouver:

  1. Song Sparrow (63% frequency)
  2. Black-capped Chickadee (58%)
  3. American Robin (57%)
  4. California Scrub-Jay (53%)  Learn about this species on eBird
  5. European Starling (51%)
  6. Northern Flicker (49%)
  7. Spotted Towhee (47%)
  8. American Crow (45%)
  9. Red-winged Blackbird (40%)
  10. Dark-eyed Junco (38%)
  11. Anna's Hummingbird (35%)
  12. House Finch (35%)
  13. Mourning Dove (29%)
  14. Golden-crowned Sparrow (28%)
  15. Bewick's Wren (28%)
  16. Steller's Jay (27%)
  17. American Goldfinch (25%)
  18. Downy Woodpecker (20%)



California Scrub-Jays are recent arrivals in southwestern Washington. But they are quite common in Vancouver. Song Sparrows, Black-capped Chickadees, and American Robins are especially common in Vancouver.

Otherwise, the birds in Vancouver, Washington are similar in abundance and variety to those in the state as a whole.





Common Backyard Birds of Bellingham, Washington


The following list uses eBird data to create a list of common backyard birds in Bellingham. The city of Bellingham is in Whatcom County. I will use the data for Whatcom County to represent the birds of the Bellingham area.

The common backyard birds of Bellingham, Washington are similar to those in nearby Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Here are the most common backyard birds throughout the year in Bellingham:

  1. American Crow (46% frequency)
  2. American Robin (39%)
  3. Song Sparrow (37%)
  4. Black-capped Chickadee (37%)
  5. Dark-eyed Junco (31%)
  6. Spotted Towhee (31%)
  7. European Starling (27%)
  8. White-crowned Sparrow (24%)
  9. Northern Flicker (22%)
  10. House Finch (20%)



The most common backyard birds in Bellingham match closely the common birds in Washinton State as a whole.





Related: 

Red, Orange, & Yellow birds of Washington

Feeding winter birds in Washington

34 of the most common birds in the United States (with photos)


How to identify birds: 7 Steps to accurately identify birds






21 comments:

  1. This is so helpful, thank you!! I wanted to expand my bird feeder station to attract other birds, and this resource was very helpful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad this article was useful for you, Sarah!

      Delete
  2. Wow, this is so cool! And who would have thought, that each of the birds we see outside are all so different and peculiar! I am actually doing project on these birds, and buy this was useful. Greg Gillson, this is the coolest thing ever!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very informative, Greg, thank you! I am a very new bird watcher and feeder - I guess I started because of being home so much this past year! Your photos are beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Karol!

      Welcome to the world of backyard birds and bird feeding!

      Delete
  4. Meant to sign it, Karol, not Unknown!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow - this is great; thank you for putting it together! Very helpful and also interesting to read.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love this site. I have most of these birds visit my backyard �� I've been feeding them and just love watching all these different birds! I have many many hummingbirds as well. Thank you for the information ��

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. thank you for posting this resource - great information! Actually helped me identify what I now know is a Northern Flicker.

    ReplyDelete
  9. great resource, thank you for putting this together Greg!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I saw a black bird with an orange chest, a little bigger than a robin. Have no idea what it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Varied Thrush and Spotted Towhee match your description.

      Later in summer Bullock's Oriole and Black-headed Grosbeak have such a pattern too.

      Delete
  11. In the Snoqualmie Valley, sometimes in the early morning I hear an unusual sounding bird. It reminds me of "Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs", always with six, fast, staccato chirps. What is could it be?

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for visiting! Would you please leave a comment to let me know what you thought and how I can make this resource better for you?

--Greg--

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