Update on Edmonds

by Jennifer Leach, Environmental Education and Sustainability Coordinator, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Culture: Photos by Bill Anderson

It’s not always easy to get motivated to head outdoors during the dark winter months. But the brave folks willing to put on their rain gear and get outside will be treated to the sights and sounds of the rich community of birds that spend their winter in our local parks.

A network of well-maintained walking trails in Yost Park and Pine Ridge Park offer some of the best viewing opportunities for forest birds. During the winter when deciduous trees and shrubs have lost their leaves, it’s easy to see birds foraging in the open tree canopy and understory. Look and listen for chickadees and robins; if you’re lucky, a flock of tiny bushtits might sweep through. Closer to the ground, keep your eyes and ears open for the Pacific wren; this comical little bird can be seen flitting among the sword ferns, and might even pop up to spy on YOU.
black capped chickadeebushtitwinter wrenamerican robin

A walk along the pathways of the Edmonds Marsh and waterfront parks will reveal a completely different community of wintering birds. You’ll likely see great blue herons hunting for fish, shrimp, and other aquatic life on the mudflats and intertidal zones. A variety of ducks can be seen as well, including goldeneyes, widgeons, and mergansers, and surf scoters along the waterfront. Keep your eyes out for cormorants drying their wings on the pilings near the ferry dock. And if you’re lucky, you might be startled by a loud rattle –the sound of a kingfisher heading out to hunt. 
great blue heronsurf scoterhooded merganserbelted kingfisher

There are lots of great field guides available to help you get familiar with our local birds. Check with our local booksellers. You can also pick up a Birds of Edmonds, Washington complete bird checklist at the Frances Anderson Center, or download it from the City’s Discovery Programs Website.

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