Seattle, the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region in the United States, is a haven for bird enthusiasts. With its diverse landscapes, from lush forests and alpine meadows to marine waters, the city provides a habitat for a wide range of bird species.
These winged creatures can be easily spotted in various parks, nature reserves, and even in urban areas, making their presence felt throughout Seattle. From majestic bald eagles to petite hummingbirds, Seattle offers a plethora of birds to observe and admire.
In this article, we will explore the rich avian diversity found in Seattle and delve deeper into some of the unique bird species found in this beautiful city.
1. House finch
The House Finch is a species of finch native to western North America and has been introduced in the eastern half of the continent as well as Hawaii.
It's an average-sized finch with adults measuring 12.5 - 15 cm (5 - 6 inches) long and having wingspans between 20 – 25 cm (8 – 10 inches).
The upperparts are brown, while its underparts range from pale grayish white to yellow depending on subspecies.
Its face is streaked or spotted with reddish coloration; males typically have brighter plumage than females due to sexual dimorphism.
They're mostly found near human habitations such as farms and gardens where they feed on grains, fruits, insects etc., making them very popular among birders who want something colorful for their backyard.Scientific classification:
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2. Bewick's wren
The Bewick's wren (Thryomanes bewickii) is a small, grey-brown bird native to North America. Measuring at around 14 cm long it has distinctive white markings on its face and tail giving it an attractive appearance.
It can often be found in thickets or scrubby areas as well as urban gardens and parks.
Its song is loud and melodious which makes them popular amongst ornithologists; they are known for their complex vocalisations composed of whistles, clicks, churrs and trills.
The Bewick’s Wren mainly feeds on insects but will also eat fruits if available during the colder months when food may otherwise be scarce.
This species of wren plays an important role in controlling insect populations making them beneficial inhabitants of our environment.Scientific classification:
|Genus||Thryomanes P.L. Sclater, 1862|
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3. Red-breasted nuthatch
The Red-breasted Nuthatch is a beautiful and vocal songbird that can be found in coniferous forests across Canada, Alaska, the northeastern United States and western US.
This small bird has blue-grey upperparts with cinnamon underparts, a white throat and face with black eye stripe, straight grey bill and black crown.
Its call sounds like a tin trumpet; it's high-pitched yet nasal.
During mating season they form monogamous pairs to build their nest near tree trunks or branches at low heights off the ground where they lay 2 - 8 eggs at once.
They are very active little birds who love clinging to trees while searching for insect larvae or seeds within the bark of trees which helps control pest populations.Scientific classification:
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4. Song sparrow
The Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) is a small, yet abundant bird found in North America.
They have brown upperparts with dark streaks and are white underneath, complete with a distinct dark brown spot on the breast.
Their cap is also brown and long roughed feathers can be seen sprouting from their neck area.
This sparrow species is highly variable and adaptable to many different environments including dry brush land, wetlands or open fields.
It has been noted that adult song sparrows will sing even during winter months when other birds remain quiet.
These energetic little animals make for great backyard companions as they flit about singing their lovely melodies.Scientific classification:
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5. Chestnut-backed chickadee
The Chestnut-backed Chickadee is a small passerine bird in the tit family, Paridae. It lives within the Pacific Northwest region of America and Canada; its range extending from southern Alaska to southwestern California.
This species remains a permanent resident throughout its area rather than migrating seasonally, although feeding flocks may temporarily move short distances for food sources.
They are commonly found in woodlands with dense understory vegetation as well as suburban gardens.
The male and female birds can be distinguished by their distinctive patterned plumage: males have brown backs while females are grayer above but both share white bellies and buffy sides striped with black barring across their wings and tails.
These sociable birds usually feed on insects or seeds which they obtain from trees or shrubs using their sharp beaks.Scientific classification:
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6. American bushtit
The American bushtit is a small, social bird found in the New World. It's the only species of its genus and family, Psaltriparus minimus.
First described by John Kirk Townsend in 1837, it inhabits forests and coasts from Alaska to Mexico.
With their tiny size (4-5 inches) they are easily identified by their gray or brown backs with white underparts.
Bushtits have long wings allowing them to travel quickly between trees; they form flocks that move together through branches looking for food such as insects, spiders eggs and fruit while emitting soft chirps or squeaks.
They build beautiful large pendulous nests made of mosses which hang from tree branches high above ground level where they sleep at night.
These charming birds make delightful company during outdoor activities like hiking or camping trips.Scientific classification:
|Genus||Psaltriparus Bonaparte, 1850|
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7. Golden-crowned sparrow
The golden-crowned sparrow is a large New World bird found in the western part of North America. It belongs to the genus Zonotrichia, made up of five species and has no subspecies.
This bird is closely related to the white-crowned sparrow as studies show their mitochondrial DNA evolves at a similar rate.
The most recognizable feature on this beautiful creature are its distinctive yellow stripes near its forehead that appear almost like an orange crown when seen from afar.
Its plumage can range from grey browns in winter months, to dull yellows and oranges during breeding season which typically occurs between April and July.
These birds are often seen foraging through leaf litter or along grassy fields looking for seeds, insects and berries to eat while they sing sweet melodies throughout their habitat.Scientific classification:
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8. Varied thrush
The Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius) is the only species in its genus and belongs to the thrush family, Turdidae.
It was first described by German naturalist Johann Friedrich Gmelin in 1789 as Turdus naevius , based on a specimen owned by John Latham which had been described as "Spotted Thrush" four years earlier.
This bird has an olive-brown back with reddish streaks along white underparts; it also bears spots of yellow or orange colouring across its chest.
Its wings are black with bold white patches while its tail appears long and pointed at times when spread out during flight.
The varied thrush can be found throughout western North America from Alaska southwards into California, Arizona, New Mexico and northern Mexico where they prefer habitats such as coniferous forests and mountain areas near streams or rivers for their habitat.
They feed mainly on insects but will also eat fruits if available making them omnivorous birds.Scientific classification:
|Genus||Ixoreus Bonaparte, 1854|
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9. Steller's jay
Steller's jay is a beautiful and colorful bird native to western North America and the mountains of Central America.
It has a distinctive long crest that sets it apart from other birds, with its blue feathers streaked with black, white, gray, and brown markings.
This species is closely related to the blue jays found in eastern North America but can be distinguished by their longer crests.
They are known for being highly vocal birds who like to make loud calls throughout forests they inhabit as well as stealing food from unsuspecting mammals or raiding bird feeders when given the chance.
Steller's Jays have adapted well to human presence in areas they populate making them great backyard visitors if you're lucky enough.Scientific classification:
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10. Northern flicker
The Northern flicker is a woodpecker species found in North America, Central America, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands. This medium-sized bird is known for its unique migration behavior.
Over 100 common names are used to refer to the Northern flicker, one of them being "yellowhammer". It is a beautiful bird with distinctive markings and a colorful plumage.
The Northern flicker is an important species in its ecosystem and plays a key role in maintaining a healthy balance in the environment.
Despite being a woodpecker, the Northern flicker has a diverse diet that includes insects, fruits, and seeds.
It is fascinating to observe this bird as it pecks at trees in search of food, communicates with its unique vocalizations and performs its incredible aerial displays.
The Northern flicker is truly a remarkable bird species that is worthy of our admiration and protection.Scientific classification:
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