Birding Washington State

When it comes to habitat diversity, it’s hard to beat Washington, which boasts about 500 species on the state checklist. The snow-capped peak of Mount Rainier watches over black oystercatchers and harlequin ducks along Puget Sound. The Hoh Rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula is one of North America’s temperate rainforests, and receives about 12 feet of rain per year. The Cascades Mountains bisect the state, and the Columbia River and its tributaries carve the central and eastern portion of the state, known as the Columbia Basin. The coast of Washington is the southernmost range of dozens of Arctic seabirds, so marine birding between January and October is a best bet.

  • Washington Birding & Nature Festivals

  • Washington Birding Hotspots

Current Feature

Snow geese take flight, beginning their 3,000-mile spring migration to the arctic breeding grounds of Russia’s Wrangel Island. Photo by USFWS / Wikimedia commons.

Washington’s Fir Island Farms Reserve: A Viewing Site to Add to the Map

Perhaps not yet on most birders’ maps, Fir Island Farms State Fish and Wildlife Reserve, a unit of Skagit Wildlife Area in northwest Washington State’s Skagit Basin, is one to watch. Its claim to fame is its celebrated winter visitors: tens of thousands of snow geese.
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