Best time to visit Seattle

Birdwatching

The Seattle area offers plenty of birdwatching spots and trails for both migrating and resident species

Birdwatching in Seattle 2020 - Best Time
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© Matthew Addicks

The Pacific Northwest is famous for its spectacular scenery and rich wildlife providing impressive bird watching opportunities. Different kinds of landscape, like the ocean coast, inland lakes, mountains, rainforests and deserts, guarantee a variety of bird habitats. Among the most endangered birds that can be found near Seattle are Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, Hutton’s Vireos, Laysan Albatross, Hermit Warblers, Spotted Owls, and Marbled Murrelets.

Bald Eagle, Montlake Fil, Seattle, Washington, USA 2020
Bald Eagle, Montlake Fil, Seattle, Washington, USA
Bald Eagle 2020
Bald Eagle

The most popular birding tours of the Seattle area cover the San Juan Islands, the Olympic Peninsula, and western Puget Sound.

Spotted Owl 2020
Spotted Owl

The San Juan Islands are located in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains so the temperatures here are very mild. It has a variety of habitats, both freshwater and saltwater. The beaches have a large number of oysters and clams which attract a lot of pelagic birds, like double-crested cormorants and oyster-catchers. The lakes host flocks of migrating ducks in the spring, while in the winter there are many Trumpeter Swans from Alaska.

Birdwatching in Seattle - Best Season 2020

The best periods to go birdwatching in the Pacific Northwest are shoulder seasons—spring and fall. Quite a few birds also stay here for the winter. By the end of spring, many birds migrate further north.

Wild Trumpeter Swans on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington 2020
Wild Trumpeter Swans on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington