Bird Watching 101

By Maria Montalvo | May 20, 2010
Juncos, Warblers, Cowbirds…

When I was a little girl, my dad and I used to watch the birds together.
He would pick me up and sit me on the kitchen counter (with my feet in the sink), and we would point out all of the birds we saw outside the window.

Spring in Edmonds brings out hundreds of types of birds, from the tiniest Wrens to the majestic Bald Eagles, and every time I hear the birds sing, I am right back in the kitchen sink.

Flickers, Grosbeaks, Sapsuckers…

The first unknown-to-us bird that showed up in our yard last year, after our lesson in bird feeding, was a Red Flicker.

It hopped around the yard and the deck, making sure it was safe, and then spent a good 20 minutes at the suet feeder.
We have about 100 photos of that Flicker, and since then, every Nuthatch, Grosbeck, and Warbler becomes an occasion to pull out the camera.

Every time we download photos to the laptop, the family memories, vacation shots, and beautiful Edmonds’ sunsets are interspersed with birds at the feeder, birds on the ground, birds in the birdbath, birds in the air.

Nuthatch, Kinglets…

All this started when Edmonds was working to become a Community Wildlife Habitat City.
Citizens were asked to create backyard wildlife habitats, which meant to provide sufficient food, shelter, and water for the local birds and wildlife.

The National Wildlife Federation presented Edmonds with the certification in April after hundreds of wildlife habitats were created for our birds and wildlife in backyards, parks, and schools. 

So next to the garden gnome, the peace sign-flashing Buddha, and the Big Boy, in went a variety of bird-welcoming yard features.
Eagles…oh my.

I may not be able to sit (or fit) on the kitchen counter with my feet in the sink anymore to watch the birds, but staring out the window at my desk, I do see an eagle soar over the brush below, looking for lunch.

Sometimes a crow or two harass it as it effortlessly flies by, and sometimes a second eagle follows close behind.
Every time, the eagle is amazing to watch.

I think I will call my dad right now because an American Goldfinch (which we recently learned is our WA State bird), with his neon yellow body and black forehead, is chowing down at birdfeeder number three.


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