Birds, Pacific Northwest
Birds are everywhere, on every continent, in every season. There are over 8,000 living species of birds.There are 27 distinct orders in the world and of these, more than 18 orders live just In Canada, involving more than 600 species of birds.
The Pacific Northwest has over 450 bird breeds that either live or visit here. We have some that inhabit the oceans and waterways, there are those that hunt the airways, others that sip the sweet nectar of plants and yet others who feed on carrion, some who feed on fish & others who prefer flies.
We have many varieties here on the coast, and once in a while, we get a rare visitor from some other part of the world to surprise and amaze us. You should see the way birders travel once they hear of a rare bird sighting. It’s almost like a birder migration!
There is something very calming about walking in a birding area, like an estuary or mountain trail, and looking for birds. My family and I have always enjoyed both bird-watching and hiking in the fresh air. When out birding, keep your eyes open – you may see many other creatures: little ones like mink, marmots, pine martins, and raccoons, or bigger ones like bears, cougars, deer, wolves, and elk. Plus, there are countless fascinating plants & insects to see. So, stay alert – you never know what might step in front of your camera.
Head out for a stroll and see what types can be found in your area. You’ll be amazed at the diversity of birds, and you will love the wonderful songs they sing. Birding is good for you, it gets you out for walks and it pleases the soul.
With so many species visiting the pacific northwest, it’s easy attracting them to your yard. A basic seed mix will bring a few of the more common ones to your feeders. With a bit of forethought, you can easily attract many other types of birds to your backyard, simply by offering what they need most: food, water, shelter and nesting sites. Offering a variety of food sources is one of the most effective ways to invite new birds to your backyard. While a basic seed mix is a good start for backyard birding, more specialized foods will entice a wider range of species. Try offering suet to the birds – you will draw woodpeckers, nuthatches & other fat loving birds. You might also consider making your own bird suet recipe, specific to the species in your area.
Installing hummingbird feeders can bring such wonder to your yard! We hang several at the end of every February, and by April, we can have hundreds visiting our feeding stations. We place feeders in front of our windows, and then enjoy the show.
Make your yard into a place that birds will want to visit. Plant trees, shrubs, vines & flowers to offer birds food, shelter and safe nesting areas. Cultivate your gardens in groupings, to provide good cover for a variety of species. Even if you’re unable to plant large areas, a small, bird-friendly garden can attract many to your yard.
They visit our feeders year round, and it brings such life to our yard, even in harsh & bleak, winter storm months!