May 24, 2023 - Things to Do

What makes Seattle a great place for bird lovers

A Swainson's thrush bird stands on a rock.

The song of Swainson's thrush is considered among the most lyrical to be found in the lowland forests of Puget Sound. Photo: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Seattle area is home to a wide range of native birds as well as migratory visitors who make their way to Puget Sound in spring, making some excellent reasons for birders of all levels to get out right now.

Why it matters: Research shows that a connection with nature improves our mental and physical health, and that watching and listening to birds provides special healing results.

Driving the news: Bird-watching enjoyed an explosion of interest during the pandemic and continues to lure newcomers, according to Birds Connect Seattle, formerly known as Seattle Audubon.

  • It's inclusive, has a low barrier to entry, and can be enjoyed equally during walks or from bedroom windows, wrote Birds Connect Seattle chapter member Monique McClure in a blog post.

The intrigue: The Pacific Northwest's wide range of microclimates — from old-growth forests to wetlands and shores — make it a great place to spot a variety of species, Hanae Bettencourt of Birds Connect Seattle told Axios.

  • This time of year, Seattle area birders are likely to see and hear regional residents like the black-capped chickadee, Anna's hummingbird and Pacific wren — as well as migrants such as Wilson's warbler, Swainson's thrush and Rufous hummingbird.

What's next: Birds Connect Seattle is hosting a number of upcoming events, including free neighborhood hikes, the annual Birdathon fundraiser, and a chance to be part of a citizen science Climate Watch project in North Seattle and Shoreline on June 4.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Seattle.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Seattle stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Seattle.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more