New app helps ID Seattle's feathered friends
Seattle hosts a mix of backyard and migratory birds, and a new birding app and social media platform aims to help more people spot them.
Driving the news: Birda helps users identify species, and offers challenges and leaderboards to have fun with other birdwatchers, writes Axios' Deirdra Funcheon.
- Using the free app to log bird sightings can also help scientists identify changes in birds' migration patterns and population levels.
Why it matters: Bird populations in the U.S. have dropped by 3 billion since 1970, and more than half of all U.S. bird species are in decline. Helping our avian residents and visitors begins with awareness of their plight, which birding societies say can start with something as simple as birdwatching.
Zoom in: Among sightings reported by Birda users in the Seattle area right now are many of our year-round neighbors, including bald eagles, American robins, black-capped chickadees, Pacific wrens, Steller's jays and Anna's hummingbirds.
- Top spots for local birdwatchers include many of the city's parks and golf courses. Try the Washington Park Arboretum, Marymoor Park, Discovery Park and Camp Long in West Seattle.
- For a longer day trip, check out this Seattle bird society's recommendations, including Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge north of Olympia; Quartermaster Harbor on Vashon Island; and the Dungeness Recreation Area on the Olympic Peninsula.
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