Birds of the Pacific Northwest: Photo Essay

Birds of the Pacific Northwest: A Photographic Guide is the all-in-one regional field guide for birding enthusiasts of all levels. Bird experts Tom Aversa, Richard Cannings, and Hal Opperman illuminate key identification traits, vocalizations, seasonal status and distribution, habitat preferences, and other behaviors for the species that call the Pacific Northwest home.

There are more than four hundred bird species in Birds of the Pacific Northwest, but here are a few of our favorites:

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Wood Duck (Aix sponsa), Male, WA (King County). Photo by Gregg Thompson.

Wood duck (Aix sponsa): A unique, short-tailed duck with a long, broad tail. The males are spectacularly multicolored. The population was depressed a century ago, but is now recovering thanks to managed harvest, nest boxes, and forest regrowth.

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Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), Juvenile, Utah. Photo by John Crawley.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias): A huge, long-necked, long-legged wader with a large dagger-like bill. The Great Blue Heron flies with its broad wings cupped and its trailing legs visible. It’s most common west of the Cascades and you’ll find the largest coastal colonies near major river deltas.

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Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna), Female, BC (Lantzville). Photo by Ralph Hocken.

Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna): The largest hummingbird in the Pacific Northwest. Anna’s Hummingbird has iridescent-green upper parts. The males have an iridescent rose-red crown and the females have some rose feathers on the chin and throat. It’s the only hummingbird that winters in the Pacific Northwest because it is nearly exclusively tied to human modified landscapes, such as parks, gardens, and homes with feeders.

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Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri), WA (Kitsap County). Photo by Ken Archer.

The Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) is mostly blue with a blackish upper body and a prominent crest with fine blue streaks on the forehead. It’s omnivorous and adaptable, foraging on seeds, acorns, and small vertebrates. The Steller’s Jay lives in mixed forests and in the suburbs where it frequents feeders.

Check out Birds of the Pacific Northwest and find your favorites!