Must-See Birds of the Pacific Northwest: 85 Unforgettable Species, Their Fascinating Lives, and How to Find Them

Must-See Birds of the Pacific Northwest: 85 Unforgettable Species, Their Fascinating Lives, and How to Find Them

by Sarah Swanson, Max Smith

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Overview

Must-See Birds of the Pacific Northwest: 85 Unforgettable Species, Their Fascinating Lives, and How to Find Them by Sarah Swanson, Max Smith

Must-See Birds of the Pacific Northwest is a lively, practical guide that helps readers discover 85 of the region’s most extraordinary birds. Each bird profile includes notes on what they eat, where they migrate from, and where to find them in Washington and Oregon. Profiles also include stunning color photographs of each bird. Birds are grouped by what they are known for or where they are most likely to be found—like beach birds, urban birds, colorful birds, and killer birds.

This is an accessible guide for casual birders, weekend warriors, and families looking for an outdoor experience. Eight easy-going birding weekends, including stops in Puget Sound, the Central Washington wine country, and the Klamath Basin, offer wonderful getaway ideas and make this a must-have guide for locals and visitors alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604693379
Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 08/27/2013
Pages: 244
Sales rank: 1,192,540
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Sarah Swanson is an enthusiastic birder who especially enjoys birding Oregon’s pine forests and coastal bays. She loves to get people excited about birds and leads field trips for Audubon Society of Portland.



Max Smith is a wildlife biologist currently working with the U.S. Forest Service. His research covers hummingbirds, desert fish, and rare wetland ecosystems. He met his coauthor, Sarah Swanson, in graduate school when they were studying birds in the same lab, and they have been birding together ever since. With their dog, Andie, they split their time between Portland and Pacific City, Oregon.

Read an Excerpt

In the Pacific Northwest, a seabird lays its egg in a nest on the mossy branch of an old-growth tree and flies out to the ocean each day in search of fish. Songbirds sing throughout the year, and tubenosed birds visit our shores from as far away as New Zealand. Even our largest cities attract spectacular flights of migratory birds. Birding hotspots include forested mountains, valley wetlands, Pacific shores, inland seas, and desert basins—enough to provide a lifetime of birding adventures.

The geographic boundaries of the Pacific Northwest vary widely depending on your purposes. This book is for people interested in birding opportunities unique to Oregon and Washington. For this reason, we include the portions of each state that contain types of natural areas that are unique to this part of the country. They include the Pacific Coast, the Salish Sea (Puget Sound and surrounding waters), the Willamette Valley and Puget Trough, the Cascade Range, and the eastern Cascade foothills. We do not include the easternmost portions of each state, because those areas include plant and bird communities that are characteristic of other regions such as the Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin.

We include several sites in Oregon and Washington where you’re most likely to find interesting birds. We do not list sites for very common birds. These sites are not, by any means, the only places to find these birds in the Pacific Northwest. And we can’t guarantee that the birds we mention will be present when you are, but that’s part of what makes birding exciting. Most of these sites are specific, well-traveled locations such as parks, wildlife refuges, and waterways. Some locations require a parking or admission fee. A few are along rough roads, so always use discretion when it comes to road conditions and your vehicle’s abilities.

This book introduces you to 85 of the Pacific Northwest’s must-see birds and shares some remarkable information about their lives and must-visit places to find them. Although this book does not include all of the birds you’ll see in the Pacific Northwest, we hope that it gives you the inspiration and information you need to go out and enjoy the many must-see birds of Oregon and Washington.
 

Table of Contents

Introduction: Birding in the Pacific Northwest 10

The Birds 16

Beach Birds: Denizens of the Waves, Rocks, and Sand 18

Big Birds: Easy to See and Fun to Watch 50

Colorful Birds: Brightening the Pacific Northwest 68

Fish-Eating Birds: Diving, Paddling, and Stabbing to Catch Swimming Prey 108

Killer Birds: Birds of Prey and Other Meat-eaters 126

Marathon Birds: Racking up the Frequent Flyer Miles 140

Singing Birds: Memorable Calls and Songs 154

Tree Trunk Birds: Living the Vertical Life 174

Urban Birds: Making a Living in the Big City 194

Weekend Birding Trips 206

Weekend Winter Weekends, North to South 210

1 Valley of the Swans: Skagit and Island Counties, Washington, in Winter 211

2 Shelter from the Storm: The Salish Sea in Winter 214

3 Gray Skies and Great Birds: The Northern Oregon Coast in Winter 217

Spring and Summer Weekends, North to South 220

4 Urban Birdin': Springtime in Puget Sound 221

5 Birding Among the Wineries and Orchards: The Canyon Country of Central Washington 224

6 Standing Room Only: Nesting Season on the Central Oregon Coast 227

7 Red Rocks, Blue Water, and White-Headed Woodpeckers: Central Oregon in Summer 230

8 It Takes Two to Tango: Dancing and Breeding Season in the Klamath Basin, Oregon 233

Bibliography 236

Acknowledgments 237

Index 238

Photo Credits 242

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