Thursday, December 1, 2011

Urban Bird Watching

Ever since my year of living in the forest, I've loved birds.  They are so fun to watch, they do amazing things and there's so many of them you can never get bored with them.  And who doesn't like to hear bird songs and calls?

Living in the forest, I was surrounded by birds of many species and often times there were so many calls and sightings that it was hard to keep track of it all.  Living in the city, one has to work a little harder to enjoy birds, but that doesn't mean it can't happen.  I am lucky enough to live in an area where I have a yard and some green space a couple blocks away.  For this reason, I am able to do lots of bird watching from inside my house.

Ever since we put down grass seed, there have been tons of dark-eyed juncos enjoying the fruits of my and Shawn's labor.  Other birds that frequent our backyard include:

* Crows (yes, very common, but have you ever really sat down and watched them?  They're fascinating.)
* American Robins
* Steller's Jays
* Northern Flickers
* House Finches
* Black-capped chickadees
* Red-Breasted Nuthatches
* Spotted towhees
* Anna's Hummingbirds
* Bushtits
* Brown Creepers
* House Sparrows and European Starlings (grrr... invasives.)

There are also the quintessential lines of small holes made by red-breasted sapsuckers on our apple tree so I know at one point those were in our backyard also.  I also regularly see glaucous-winged gulls, rock doves, and this summer even heard and saw some cooper's hawks flying around.  In Hamlin park, (the park about 10 blocks away,) Shawn and I got to see a Barred Owl hunting down a squirrel.  Though also non-native, I really appreciate the Barred Owl.  I've also seen Bald Eagles and Red-tailed hawks perched on the trees at Jackson Park golf course and half a block from my house.

So there you go.  Birds are awesome.  I keep a pair of binoculars on the window sill just in case something cool stops by.  Yes, most of the birds on my list are super common and are not as cool to some.  But does a bird being common make them any less amazing?  So take a look outside, I think you'll be amazed and impressed by who you share your home with.

Me and my bad hair with a barred owl baby.  Only at IslandWood.
P.S.  Here's a low quality video.  I took it from inside the house.  And the creepy voice in the background is just Skipper calling me garbage.

P.P.S.  Seattle has tons of amazing parks that have some resident birds.  Some of them include: Carkeek, Magnusson, Seward, and Lincoln.  You should go.  With binoculars.  And maybe a bird guide.


1 comment:

  1. You can also see a lot of birds on the UW campus and down at UBNA.


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