Tag: bird watching

A Caspian tern with a fish after a successful dive

It’s the Season to Tern, Tern, Tern

The summer months bring numerous visitors to West Sound’s shorelines. Some enjoy beach walks, while others prefer a picnic. Boats abound and kites fly high. The wintering waterfowl have long since departed and are raising their families in the sunny Arctic. Marine birds … read more

An adult male pileated woodpecker feeds peanut butter suet to a juvenile male.

This Forest Icon is the Last of its Kind

When it comes to majestic birds, people often think of bald eagles and trumpeter swans. But would anyone call a woodpecker majestic? The 1800s and early 1900s were a period of unprecedented destruction across North America. Colossal forests were completely decimated to harvest … read more

A male bushtit carries lichen for nesting material by Long Lake near Port Orchard.

The Pint-Sized Powerhouse of Structural Engineering

Small songbirds are easy to overlook. Most people will notice a bald eagle on a pole but will miss a little gray bird in a nearby shrub. In the world of birds, the largest ones will always make a lasting impression. Someone seeing … read more

A male varied thrush surveys its snowy surroundings.

The Varied Thrush Provides a Respite from the Winter Doldrums

Some people look forward to winter because they enjoy snow sports. Fans of NFL football love the playoffs. Others appreciate a reason to wear flannel and sip hot chocolate by a cozy fire. Birders see winter as the time to bundle up and … read more

An American dipper finds a tasty salmon egg in Chico Creek near Bremerton.

The Aquatic Songbird that Makes a Splash

Songbirds are not just frequent visitors to gardens and birdhouses. They are everywhere. Some species, like the dark-eyed junco, are ubiquitous, adapting to various environments. But others have special habitat requirements. For example, marsh wrens need marshes and sagebrush sparrows need sagebrush. A … read more

Heermann’s gull in nonbreeding plumage strolls the beach at Point No Point County Park in Hansville.

Not Your Average ‘Seagull’

A little-known fact, outside the world of birding, is that there is no such bird as a “seagull.” Rather, the term “seagull” is an informal name given to any member of the Laridae (Greek for “ravenous seabird”) family. Gulls, as they are correctly … read more

You may have to look close to see them, but brown creepers may show up in your backyard, like this one on a big leaf maple.

Finding the Furtive Bird of the Forest

If a hiker in a Kitsap forest were to come upon someone looking through a pair of binoculars, it is only natural to ask what he or she is seeing. If the response is “brown creeper,” some people may think the individual is … read more

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hummingbirds

How to Make Your Yard a Haven for Wildlife

Last month, my husband and I visited a small public garden in Southwest Washington called the Wildlife Botanical Gardens. The garden is a project of the NatureScaping organization, devoted to showing homeowners ways to attract birds and other wildlife to their yards by … read more

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