Winter Birds

Eastern Washington Birds in Winter

As you stroll around your neighborhood or take a brisk walk in the parks or hills surrounding Kittitas County, I’m sure you’ve noticed the profound quiet. Especially in the woods or up in the hills, the deeply noticeable silence cannot be shaken by the sounds of your boots hitting ground. You may not even realize that something you take for granted all year is the reason for the silence. The lack of bird calls.

Eastern Washington State is home to a diverse array of bird species that do not to migrate, opting to endure the region’s varying climatic conditions throughout the year. These resident birds have adapted to the specific habitats and ecosystems found in Eastern Washington, but why are they so much harder to spot in the winter?

Th American Robin hangs around all year in Eastern Washington. I have never in my life seen one in the winter. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I don’t look hard enough. Supposedly, the American Robin as a year-round resident here, can be spotted foraging for food in open grasslands and suburban areas. I definitely need to look harder.

Another notable non-migratory bird is the Northern Flicker. These woodpeckers are commonly found in the wooded areas of Eastern Washington, where they feed on insects by probing into trees with their strong bills. Their vibrant plumage and rhythmic drumming sounds contribute to the region’s avian diversity. I love these birds and I see them all year long.

The Western Bluebird is another resident bird I have not seen in the winter. I read that it can often be seen perched on fence posts or wires in open country. As someone living in open country, what is wrong with me. My bird watching skills are weak! These small songbirds form monogamous pairs and nest in tree cavities, contributing to the region’s biodiversity with their charming presence.

Eastern Washington is also home to a variety of raptors that remain throughout the year. The Red-tailed Hawk is a common sight, soaring over open fields in search of prey. Their distinctive calls and impressive aerial displays make them a symbol of the region’s wild landscapes.

The Mountain Bluebird is another non-migratory bird that thrives in Eastern Washington’s mountainous terrain. These stunning bluebirds add a splash of color to alpine meadows and are known for their insect-heavy diet.

Overall, Eastern Washington State provides a haven for a diverse community of non-migratory birds, each species contributing to the ecological tapestry of this captivating region. Through their resilience and adaptations, these birds have become integral parts of the local ecosystems, enhancing the natural beauty and biodiversity of Eastern Washington.