The state of Washington is home to a variety of birds. Some of these species are migratory and only spend the summer or winter in Washington, while others live here all year. We’ll investigate 26 of the most prevalent backyard birds in Washington and learn about each species in this essay.
I’ll teach you a crash course in the 10 distinct types of bird feeders that you may employ, and then I’ll demonstrate you how to attract them to your yard. Lastly, I’ll tell you about some favorite local birding groups and a few favorite birdwatching spots in Washington.
How many different species of wild birds are in Washington?
It’s tough to determine the exact number of bird species in North America, the United States, or even in Washington State. According to the Washington Ornithological Society, at least 520 different types of birds have been observed in the state of Washington by 2020. According to one source, North America contains 2,059 species; according to another, just 914. I’m skeptical of these figures, but they do provide a broad picture of the number of species.
We’re going to look at a few of the species that visitors commonly see around Washington, particularly in backyards, for the purposes of this article.
26 COMMON BACKYARD BIRDS IN WASHINGTON
We’ll take a look at 26 species of Washington backyard birds, some of which are migrants, below. These are some of the birds that are most likely to frequent backyards in Washington, but they aren’t all of the species in the state, or even close to it. Let’s get started right away!
1. BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE
Scientific name: Poecile atricapillus
Length: 4.7-5.9 in
Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz
Wingspan: 6.3-8.3 in
Because of their black cap and black bib, chickadees are tiny little birds with rounded bodies that are easy to identify. Their underbodies are fluffy and light, with solid white cheeks and blackish gray wings and backs. They’re frequently seen dashing back and forth from a feeder to cover and uncover for more, which is why they’re so popular at bird feeders. Chickadees, for their size, are often among the first birds I notice visiting a new feeder in my yard. They’re very bold!
Throughout Washington, black-capped chickadees may be seen year round.
Most seed feeders will be visited by chickadees, who will offer black sunflower seeds and mixed seed blends.
2. ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD
Scientific name: Calypte anna
Length: 3.9 in
Weight: 0.1-0.2 oz
Wingspan: 4.7 in
Along the western coast of the United States, the Anna’s Hummingbird is one of the most common species. The neck, forehead, and behind the eyes of males are green, with a light breast and pink feathers. Females have a few pink/red spots on their throats, but they lack the bold pink feathers. During the winter, several hummingbird species fly south of the border, while Anna hummingbirds stay in the western United States and travel just a few kilometers to seek out a new food source.
Although they are less common or absent in the northern cascades area and the far eastern part of the state, the Anna’s Hummingbird may be seen year-round throughout many coastal and central areas of Washington.
If you set up a nectar feeder or nectar-producing plants, Anna will happily visit your backyards.
3. AMERICAN GOLDFINCH
Scientific name: Spinus tristis
Length: 4.3-5.1 in
Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz
Wingspan: 7.5-8.7 in
In the spring and summer, seeing goldfinches at feeders is one of my favorite things to do. Males have a black cap on top of their heads during this time and are mostly yellow, or “gold,” with black-tipped wings. Their bright yellow color will fade out to a more dull brownish or olive tone during the winter, when they molt. The black on their wings and finch-like beaks are always visible, no matter what the season.
Except for the northwestern corner, where they may only be seen during the breeding season, goldfinches can be found year-round throughout Washington.
Sunflower chips are a thistle feeder’s best bet to attract goldfinches, but they may also eat thistle seed.
4. BARN SWALLOW
Scientific name: Hirundo rustica
Length: 5.9-7.5 in
Weight: 0.6-0.7 oz
Wingspan: 11.4-12.6 in
The open-field birds, barn swallows The back of these brightly hued birds is dark blue, the eyes are orange, and the neck is orange. Their breast and belly may range in color from a light tawny to a vivid orange. Their long, deeply forked tail is one of their distinguishing features. They’re highly nimble birds that fly through water, fields, farms, and meadows capturing insects. Cup-shaped nests, which are frequently seen in the eaves of barns, gazebos, covered pavilions, and beneath bridges, are made out of mud and grass.
The US is where barn swallows go. Throughout Washington’s spring and summer, you may see them breeding.
Barn Swallows don’t visit a bird feeder because they eat flying insects. If you have a barn, outbuilding, or gazebo, you may attempt to attract them by setting up a nestbox.
5. WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW
Scientific name: Zonotrichia leucophrys
Length: 5.9-6.3 in
Weight: 0.9-1.0 oz
Wingspan: 8.3-9.4 in
During the summer, white-crowned sparrows live in Canada and Alaska, then move back through the United States during the winter. White-crowned sparrows have a strong black and white striped head, with the remainder of their face, chest, and belly being a basic buffy brown-gray color. In fields, near road and trail edges, and in places where foraging is allowed. These sparrows prefer to feed on the ground, where they will pick up spilled seed.
These birds will only be found during the winter in most of Washington. Many, however, are year-round residents along the coast.
Feeders are visited frequently by white-crowned sparrows, who like to collect fallen seed. Sunflower, millet, and mixed seed blends are available.
6. RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD
Scientific name: Agelaius phoeniceus
Length: 6.7-9.1 in
Weight: 1.1-2.7 oz
Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in
Male Red-winged Blackbirds are easily recognized due to their crimson and yellow “shoulders” that stand out against their black bodies, making them one of the most common birds in all of North America. Females, on the other hand, are brown with light streaks and appear quite different from males. Males will have up to 15 different females that they are mating with, which makes them a polygynous species. Unfortunately, they arrive in flocks and devour the seed at feeders.
Throughout Washington, red-winged blackbirds can be found all year.
Most types of feeders attract red-winged blackbirds, who will eat seed and suet.
7. AMERICAN ROBIN
Scientific name: Turdus migratorius
Length: 7.9-11.0 in
Weight: 2.7-3.0 oz
Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in
Robins are often seen hopping around the grass, hunting for worms and other invertebrates. They are commonly seen in backyards. They do not eat seeds, despite visiting bird feeders on occasion. They are easily recognized by their bright orange spherical bellies, yellow beaks, and greater size. From dawn till dusk, they sing frequently and can be heard.
Throughout Washington, robins live all year.
Attract them with meal worms, native fruit-bearing plants, or a bird bath if you don’t often see American Robins at seed feeders.
8. RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH
Scientific name: Sitta canadensis
Length: 4.3 in
Weight: 0.3-0.5 oz
Wingspan: 7.1-7.9 in
The back of these little nuthatches is black and white striped, and the chest and belly are rusty (from brightly coloured to pale). They’re small, lively birds that spend most of their time on tree trunks and branches, searching for insects beneath the bark. They’ll utilize outdoor nest boxes as well as tree cavities to breed.
Most of Washington is home to red-breasted Nuthatches, however they may be seen more frequently in the winter in a few areas.
Feeders are visited by red-breasted nuthatches. Sunflower seeds, peanuts, and suet are all good options.
9. EUROPEAN STARLING
Scientific name: Sturnus vulgaris
Length: 7.9-9.1 in
Weight: 2.1-3.4 oz
Wingspan: 12.2-15.8 in
In the 1890s, 100 starlings were released in New York, and they’ve since colonized the United States. They will overrun feeders, destroying other birds’ nests and murdering their young before overtaking you with the food you provide. They have yellow beaks and feet and are mostly dark with white specs on their backs and wings. In the right light, starlings may also appear to be quite lovely, with a purple and green iridescent color.
Every state in the lower 48, including Washington, has starlings throughout the year.
Almost anything can be found in the stomach of a European Starling. We advise not to try to attract them since they are an invasive species that will show up regardless.
10. BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK
Scientific name: Pheucticus melanocephalus
Length: 7.1-7.5 in
Weight: 1.2-1.7 oz
Wingspan: 12.6 in
Because they spend the winter in Mexico, Black-headed Grosbeaks return to the United States every year. It’s a treat for amateur backyard bird enthusiasts. Males have more vibrant colors than females, with a striped face that is brown and white. Females are a streaky brown on the back with a light breast. Their breast is bright orange with some yellow on the belly, and their head and back are black with white wing markings. Their thick beaks may help them open hard seeds. When it comes to incubating eggs and feeding the infants, both men and women share equal responsibility.
Only during the spring and summer breeding season are black-headed grosbeaks found throughout Washington.
Bird feeders attract Red-Breasted Grosbeaks, who will eat mixed seeds and sunflower seeds at times.
11. HOUSE FINCH
Scientific name: Haemorhous mexicanus
Length: 5.1-5.5 in
Weight: 0.6-0.9 oz
Wingspan: 7.9-9.8 in
In its range, the House Finch is a common backyard bird. They are from the west coast and did not expand eastward. They were unsuccessful in selling caged finches until the 1940s, when they were finally set free. They may appear in small flocks and mob your feeders if you attract them, which is rather simple to do. Brown with considerable white streaking on both sexes. The head, chest, and back of males are splashed with red.
Except for the northeastern corner, House Finches are ubiquitous throughout Washington all year.
Black sunflower or mixed seed is a favorite of house finches, who will also eat bird feeders. House Finches, like other finches, will visit thistle feeders.
12. HOUSE SPARROW
Scientific name: Passer domesticus
Length: 5.9-6.7 in
Weight: 0.9-1.1 oz
Wingspan: 7.5-9.8 in
House Sparrows are the only other wild bird species in the United States, and they are often seen as pests. Apart from starlings, which you may lawfully cage and kill humanely. They were first introduced in New York in the 1800s, and like starlings, they have spread across the United States like wildfire. Their wings and chest are streaked with black and brown, and they are primarily brown in hue. Males with a black mask and chest are often noticed. When it comes to other birds, they’re typically hostile, especially nest and birdhouse attacks.
Throughout Washington, House Sparrows may be seen all year.
House Sparrows are invasive and pose a danger to native creatures, similar to European Starlings. Most types of seed will be eaten by them.
13. YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER
Scientific name: Setophaga coronata
Length: 4.7-5.5 in
Weight: 0.4-0.5 oz
Wingspan: 7.5-9.1 in
Depending on where it lives, the Yellow-rumped warbler’s color pattern may change. The Audubon variety, which has a brilliant yellow throat, rump, and sides, is the most common in Washington. A little yellow can be seen on top of their skull. The same pattern applies to both sexes, although the colors may be duller and the patterns less distinct. Their colors will be the most vibrant and vivid in the spring, then fade during the winter, as they do with other warblers.
In Washington, the timing of when to find these birds varies. Many Yellow-rumped warblers may be found throughout the state year-round, with the exception of an area around Olympic National Park, where they are mostly only seen during breeding season. They are most often seen during the spring and summer months in hilly regions, far northern border, and in the northeastern corner of the state. They’re only commonly seen throughout migration in the state’s central and southeastern regions throughout the spring and autumn.
Bird feeders attract Yellow-rumped Warblers on occasion. Sunflower seeds, suet, and raisins are good attractants.
14. CEDAR WAXWING
Scientific name: Bombycilla cedrorum
Length: 5.5-6.7 in
Weight: 1.1 oz
Wingspan: 8.7-11.8 in
The distinctive color of Cedar Waxwings is simple to spot. The head and belly of these medium-sized birds are tawny brown, while their wings and tail are dark gray. Their eyes are encased in a striking black eye mask with a large fluffy brown crest. Little, red, waxy nubs at the ends of their wings gave them the name waxwing.
It’s sometimes difficult to perceive these, and no one knows what they’re doing. Mate attraction might be aided by them. Cedar waxwings are one of the few North American birds that can subsist on fruit alone for months at a time. Insects and other foods are supplemented to their diet, however they can eat a significantly higher amount of fruit than other birds.
Throughout the year, Cedar Waxwings may be seen throughout Washington.
Seed feeders aren’t for Cedar Waxwings. Native trees and shrubs that produce small fruits and berries can entice them to your yard.
15. SONG SPARROW
Scientific name: Melospiza melodia
Length: 4.7-6.7 in
Weight: 0.4-1.9 oz
Wingspan: 7.1-9.4 in
Song Sparrows have a wide range of plumage that varies from area to area and may be seen across most of North America. These sparrows have a heavy brown chest and a light belly, and their backs and wings are generally brown. In the western United States, song sparrows It may look darker, greyer, and streaked with heavier streaks. The male of the species not only attracts females with his song, but also protects his area.
Year-round, Song Sparrows may be seen in Washington.
Song Sparrows will eat mixed seeds and sunflower seeds from bird feeders on occasion.
16. BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD
Scientific name: Molothrus ater
Length: 7.5 – 8.7 in
Weight: 1.5 – 1.8 oz
Wingspan: 12.6 – 15.0 in
Because of the color of the males and their traveling in huge flocks (sometimes mixed with actual blackbirds), brown-headed cowbirds are often grouped together as blackbirds. The body of a male is iridescent, and his head is dark brown. Females are a lighter brown on the whole.
Cowbirds, on the other hand, are “nest parasites,” and by laying their eggs in other birds’ nests, they harm the amount of birds in the area. They may occasionally sneak an egg into the nest among the others, or they may violently push other eggs out to make space for their own. Several birds will treat the imposter egg like their own, raising the youngster.
Throughout the spring and summer, cowbirds can be found all along the coast, but they’re only seen elsewhere in Washington throughout the winter.
Feeders are frequently visited by brown-headed cowbirds, which may be seen in huge numbers. They’ll devour pretty much any combination of seeds.
17. DOWNY WOODPECKER
Scientific name: Picoides pubescens
Length: 5.5-6.7 in
Weight: 0.7-1.0 oz
Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 in
The little woodpeckers known as Downy’s are one of the first species I see when visiting a new bird feeder in North America. Their red spot on the back of their heads (in males, females have no red) makes them easily identifiable by their all-white underbodies, black wings with white dots, and black and white striped heads. Downy’s are smaller than Hairy Woodpeckers, despite their outward resemblance.
Throughout Washington, the Downy Woodpecker can be found all year.
Most kinds of bird feeders attract Downy Woodpeckers. Mix in black sunflower seed, suet, and mixed seed.
18. SPOTTED TOWHEE
Scientific name: Pipilo maculatus
Length: 6.7-8.3 in
Weight: 1.2-1.7 oz
Wingspan: 11.0 in
A delightful backyard bird species, the Spotted Towhee is always a treat to watch. With white wing patches, rusty flanks, and a white belly, both sexes have a black head, back, wings, and tail. Males, on the other hand, have a dark coloration that is black, whereas females have a brown coloration. Towhees search for insects, seeds, and berries among the leaves and grasses of the master foreman. It’s entertaining to observe them scratching at the ground with their doubled-footed backwards hopping motion. Leave some brushy edges and leaf litter along your yard line if you want to increase the likelihood of attracting towhees to your yard.
Throughout most of Washington, Spotted Towhees may be found year-round, however they are only seen in the spring and summer in the northeastern region.
Spotted Towhees are more likely to seek seed on the ground beneath bird feeders than to eat directly from them. Sprinkle seed around or keep some brushy vegetation in the yard to attract them.
19. NORTHERN FLICKER
Scientific name: Colaptes auratus
Length: 11.0-12.2 in
Weight: 3.9-5.6 oz
Wingspan: 16.5-20.1 in
In the United States, these medium to large-sized woodpeckers are quite frequent in backyards. They’re also one of North America’s most gorgeous birds, in my opinion. Flickers, unlike other woodpeckers, prefer to locate insects on the ground rather than in the trees. The black patches on their bellies, solid black bib, buffy brown complexion, and barred black and gray wings can be used to distinguish them. Males have a crimson “mustache,” whereas females do not. The red-shafted variety, with scarlet crimson feathers on the underside of their wings and tail, may be found in Washington.
Throughout Washington, Northern Flickers can be found any time of year.
While other woodpecker species feeders may be visited more often, Northern Flickers will visit suet feeders. You may observe them digging around for insects if you have some leaf mounds in your yard.
20. DARK-EYED JUNCO
Scientific name: Junco hyemalis
Length: 5.5-6.3 in
Weight: 0.6-1.1 oz
Wingspan: 7.1-9.8 in
Because they spend their summers up in Canada, juncos are often referred to as winter birds in the United States. They’re little birds with a pink beak that range in color from white to dark brown across the United States. The Oregon variety is prevalent in Washington. They have a brown back and white chest. They have a black head. Females have gray heads and are duller in hue than males. Juncos, which may be seen hopping around on the ground, are most prevalent in forests and wooded regions.
Juncos with dark eyes may be seen virtually all year-round in Washington, however they may only be present in the southern part of the state during the winter.
Juncos prefer to eat seed from the ground beneath your feeders, rather than visit feeders on a regular basis. Mixed seeds are preferred by them.
21. CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE
Scientific name: Poecile rufescens
Length: 3.9-4.7 in
Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz
Wingspan: 7.5 in
Because of their “black cap” and black bib, chickadees are small little birds that are very easy to recognize. This western species may be found all the way from Canada to Alaska’s west coast. It has a chestnut back and sides in the northern regions of its range, such as Washington. Chickadees, who collect fur from numerous animals, such as rabbits and deer, employ a lot of it in their nests. Around bird feeders, they are quick and inquisitive birds that may seem quite fearless.
The coast and the western half of Washington are home to most Chestnut-backed Chickadees.
Most seed feeders will be visited by chickadees, who will offer a variety of seed blends and black sunflower seeds.
22. PINE SISKIN
Scientific name: Spinus pinus
Length: 4.3-5.5 in
Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz
Wingspan: 7.1-8.7 in
The tiny finch family member Pine Siskins has a sharply pointed beak. They’re brown and white, with streaks on their feathers that make them appear to be female house finches. The wings and sides of the Pine Siskin’s tail will always be yellow (of varying brightness). In the winter after good seed crops, they are thought to be nomadic and may travel widely in search of their preferred food source. As a result, you may observe a lot of them during some winters and none at all during others.
Throughout the year, Pine Siskins may be found throughout Washington, although they are more abundant in the winter months only.
23. VARIED THRUSH
Scientific name: Ixoreus naevius
Length: 7.5-10.2 in
Weight: 2.3-3.5 oz
Wingspan: 13.4-15.0 in
A enormous, robin-like songbird, the Varied Thrush is a big one. Their bright orange neck, eyebrow stripe, belly, and wingbars make it difficult to mistake their plumage. Males are a dark blue-gray color on their face, back, and tail, while females are more of a gray-brown color. They forage from leaf litter on the forest floor in the summer and are birds of the dense Pacific northwest woods. Fruits/berries, acorns, and nuts are added to their diet in the winter.
Varied Thrush stays around all year in the western section of the state. They only discovered them during the winter months in the state’s central and eastern areas.
During the winter, the Varied Thrush is most likely to come into backyards. Ground feeders’ seeds, as well as those that have fallen from hanging feeders, such as hulled sunflower, are acceptable. Planting native bushes that bear berries during the winter may also entice them.
24. BEWICK’S WREN
Scientific name: Thryomanes bewickii
Length: 5.1 in
Weight: 0.3-0.4 oz
The body of Bewick’s wren is rounded, with a brown back and chest. Its bill is long and has a modest downward arch, as is typical of wrens. The wings and tail have black barring, while the head has a prominent white eyebrow. They may range from a hot brown in humid places to a more gray-brown in drier places. They’re constantly moving from limb to limb, and their tail is frequently flicked up and down. Males are tiny songsters that may recall up to 22 different tunes when they are young.
Throughout western and central Washington, the Bewick’s Wren may be found all year.
Hulled sunflower, suet, or mealworms may attract this wren at feeders, though it’s not particularly common. Another way to attract them to the yard is to plant native shrubs and maintain brush piles.
25. STELLER’S JAY
Scientific name: Cyanocitta stelleri
Length: 11.8-13.4 in
Weight: 3.5-4.9 oz
Wingspan: 17.3 in
The Jay of Steller is a very distinctive bird! The top half of these birds is brownish-black, while the bottom half is bright blue. During courting or in aggression, these jay’s have a huge crest that they may flick and reveal to spectacular effect. They prefer evergreen woodlands as their primary habitat, but they may be found in campgrounds, parks, and backyards across their range.
Steller’s Jays may be found in most of northern and western Washington throughout the year.
Place peanuts, large seeds, and nuts on bird feeders to attract the Steller’s Jay.
26. COMMON RAVEN
Scientific name: Corvus corax
Length: 22.1-27.2 in
Weight: 24.3-57.3 oz
Wingspan: 45.7-46.5 in
Solid black in hue and considerably bigger than common Ravens, Like their relative the crow, they are also well-known for their ability to think quickly. Living alongside human activity or in complete isolation, they appear to be equally at ease. Ravens may vocalize in a variety of ways, with the most popular soundbeing a series of croaks.
Throughout the year, Ravens may be found across Washington.
Omnivorous Common Ravens are too large to feed at birdfeeders, thus they don’t visit them. However, keep an eye on your trash and pet food outdoors.
HOW TO ATTRACT BIRDS TO YOUR YARD
Are you interested in bringing some of these birds to your yard? Starting with the most obvious, take a look at these 5 simple tips.
1. PUT OUT BIRD FEEDERS
If you put out a bird feeder or two, the greatest and simplest technique to attract birds to your yard is. A basic tube feeder, hopper feeder, platform feeder, or window feeder are all good places to start. Below are some options for each.
2. ADD A WATER SOURCE
You may use a simple terra cotta flower pot saucer, such as the one shown on Amazon, or something similar like this pedestal birdbath. Birds require water for both bathing and drinking, so adding a water feature to your yard is a great way to attract them. Also, since moving water will attract the birds even more, consider placing a solar fountain.
3. OFFER BIRDHOUSES
If placed in the right location at the right time of year, several bird species will readily take up residence in birdhouses. Among the most popular birds sought after for birdhouses are Eastern Bluebirds. A mating pair of bluebirds were investigating this birdhouse in my yard the same day I put it up.
4. PROVIDE SHELTER
Make sure there are trees, bushes, and shrubs around your yard that the birds can return to when they sense danger. Predators are kept at bay with this as their primary defense. Try to add some landscaping elements that will allow birds to view your yard as safe if your yard is in a new development with no mature trees.
5. ADD NATIVE PLANTS
Having native plants that produce nuts, berries, and seeds will merely help your efforts to attract more birds for many birds that consume them. Moreover, since most songbirds feed insects to their hatchlings, native plants help caterpillars and other insects that feed many birds and support nesting birds. Native plants that promote a healthy ecosystem should be avoided, as should invasive and non-native plants.
10 DIFFERENT TYPES OF BIRD FEEDERS
In their yards, many people set up the following 10 most popular bird feeders.
- The term “hopper feeder” refers to a container in the center, called the hopper, that stores the seed for birds. Perches for birds to sit on and feed from may be found on the sides. The top of many hopper feeders is covered to keep the seed dry, and they resemble houses. For this type of feeder, use black sunflower seeds or a mix of birdseed. This squirrel-proof hopper feeder is one of my favorites.
- Platform feeders are open on top and can be hung from a tree or hook, or pole-mounted. They are sometimes known as tray feeders. They’re simple to set up and ideal for feeding most sorts of birds. Every animal in your yard that can reach them will eat from them, though they are completely open. For this kind of feeder, use black sunflower seeds or a combination of birdseed. Right now, I’m out in the yard with this platform feeder.
- Tube feeders are simple transparent tube-shaped bird feeders that do nothing more than hold water. They may hold a few cups of seed or 5 pounds or more and are available in various sizes. They’re fantastic since they allow you to seed when it’s necessary while also keeping your seed fresh and dry. Tube feeders are used by a variety of birds. In tube feeders, you can use black sunflower seeds and mixed seeds. This squirrel-proof tube feeder is one of Squirrel Buster’s best, and it’s also one of the best on the market.
- Suet feeders are used to feed suet cakes to a certain kind of bird. These are a very basic idea, usually consisting of just a metalwire cage with a tail-prop for bigger birds. Suet feeders are commonly visited by woodpeckers in the winter because birds are seeking for high-fat foods. I recommend a suet feeder with a long tail prop to attract larger woodpeckers, such as the Pileated and Northern Flicker.
- Window feeders are tiny bird feeders that use suction cups to mount securely to a glass window. Tray feeders are open on top and you simply pour seed into the tray compartment to replenish them, which is comparable to what they are. These feeders are ideal for anyone who doesn’t have a large yard and are popular with a variety of different birds. They’re simple to get started with. For this kind of feeder, use black sunflower seeds or a combination of birdseed. This is, without a doubt, the most popular window feeder on Amazon, and maybe the entire bird feeder market.
- Thistle feeders, also known as Nyjer feeders, are specialized bird feeders that are especially suited for thistle seed. Birds in the finch family, which includes the American Goldfinch and House Finch, are the most common types of birds that thistle feeders attract. Thistle feeders are typically tubular and feature tiny holes along the tube’s walls allowing birds to pick thistle from the feeder. Droll Yankees has a great thistle feeder for you.
- Ground feeders are tray feeders that rest on the ground’s surface. Birds like Mourning Doves, Juncos, and squirrels will love them, as will raccoons and other ground animals. For this kind of feeder, use black sunflower seeds or a combination of birdseed. This recycled plastic ground feeder looks like something you’d want to try.
- Another kind of specialty feeder for one kind of bird, orioles, is the Oriole feeder. Little plastic or glass dishes designed for holding jelly, which orioles adore, are commonly used as feeders. You may also put orange pieces on the feeder, which orioles adore. With four jelly trays, this is a basic oriole feeder for orange halves.
- Hummingbird feeders, also known as nectar feeders, are made to gather sugar water from hummingbirds. I frequently see Downy Woodpeckers at mine, even though they are meant for hummingbirds, and they really like that sweet nectar. To learn how to make hummingbird nectar without boiling the water, read this article. There’s no need to spend a lot of money on a hummingbird feeder since they’re so simple and inexpensive.
- Peanut feeders are tube-shaped and often made of metal wire mesh material. They’re comparable to thistle feeders in that they’re tube-shaped. To enable whole unshelled or shelled peanuts to pass through the holes, the holes in the wire mesh are spaced much farther apart. These should be filled with peanuts and attract birds such as Blue Jays. Squirrel Buster is your best option if you want to keep squirrels out of your peanut feeder. This basic one will suffice.
BIRD WATCHING IN WASHINGTON
If you want to go birding somewhere other than your own yard, Washington is a fantastic state to visit. If you want to get a little more involved, the Washington Audubon Society hosts meetups, seminars, field trips, and birding tours.
Take a look at this list of popular birding sites in Washington if you’re a Washington resident who’d like to add some new species to your life list.
WASHINGTON BIRDING LOCATIONS
- Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge
- Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
- Skagit Wildlife Area
- Fir Island Farms
- Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually NWR