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Backyard Birding: Urban Birding Guide for Seattle-Area Kids and Families

Expert tips for enjoying birds in your yard and your neighborhood

Bryony Angell

Published on: May 04, 2020

Backyard Birding: Urban Birding Guide for Seattle-Area Kids and Families

A black-capped chickadee. Credit: Chad Horwedel/Flickr CC

4. Learn more

There are so many interactive opportunities for families to learn more about birds.

  • Local chapters of the Audubon Society are founts of information; these include Seattle AudubonSeward Park Audubon Center, Eastside AudubonTahoma Audubon and Pilchuck Audubon. Typically these organizations host regular bird walks, workshops, volunteer opportunities and more. Right now, in-person events are suspended, but you can still find lots of information on the websites.
  • Check out BirdWeb for specific information about birds here in Washington State and information about when and where you might see a particular species, such as migratory birds that spend only parts of the year in our area.
  • The famous Cornell Lab of Ornithology runs a site called All About Birds that includes thousands of recordings of birdsong. It's a great resource for birdsong and other information on a more national level.
  • Listen to Bird Note stories. Bird Note features the recordings of birdsong from all over the world, but with a focus on birds of the U.S., This program is strong for its introduction to birding by ear and context for what you hear.
  • A good bird guide will be a great investment. I like the now-classic David Sibley guides, for the different illustrated views of each bird. I use the volume specific to Western North America. Whatever guide you choose — whether it has illustrations or photographs — make sure it is specific to our region.
  • Mark your calendar for the annual Backyard Bird Count, taking place again in February 2021. You can use your birding skills to contribute to citizen science. (So cool!)

With these tips in mind, a whole new world of nature will open in your own backyard or neighborhood. Enjoy your new feathered friends!

Editor's note: This article was originally published a few years ago and updated for 2020.

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