Backyard Birds Of Oregon, Idaho, And Washington

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Written By Philip de la Forre

My life is about gardening art. I'm invariably striving to create planting art through trial and error in my garden. I have been featured in various magazines and i will help you contruct your garden.

Birds of a feather flock together. In the Pacific Northwest region encompassing Oregon, Idaho, and Washington, bird enthusiasts are treated to an array of captivating backyard birds. This article delves into the avian diversity found in these states, focusing on the species commonly observed in residential areas.

One cannot overlook the enchanting presence of hummingbirds in this part of the country. With their vibrant plumage and remarkable agility, these tiny creatures inject life into gardens and bring joy to onlookers.

Additionally, bald eagles symbolize strength and majesty as they soar through the skies, making occasional appearances near water bodies.

Western bluebirds grace residents with their brilliant blue colors and melodic songs while American goldfinches brighten up backyards with their sunny yellow feathers.

Meanwhile, northern flickers add a touch of elegance with their distinctive plumage patterns and melodious calls.

Lastly, barred owls silently patrol the night skies, embodying mystery and wisdom within their dark feathers.

This comprehensive exploration will shed light on these remarkable backyard birds found throughout Oregon, Idaho, and Washington.

Key Takeaways

  • Pacific Northwest region (Oregon, Idaho, Washington) has diverse backyard bird species
  • Hummingbirds inject life into gardens with vibrant plumage and agility
  • Bald eagles symbolize strength and majesty, seen near water bodies
  • Western bluebirds have brilliant blue colors and melodic songs


Hummingbirds, known for their vibrant plumage and unique flight patterns, are a prominent avian species found in the backyard habitats of Oregon, Idaho, and Washington.

Attracting hummingbirds to one’s backyard requires providing a suitable environment with nectar-rich flowers and feeders.

There are several species of hummingbirds that can be identified based on their physical characteristics such as size, coloration, and bill shape.

Transitioning to the next section, bald eagles are another notable bird species found in this region.

Bald Eagles

Symbolizing strength and majesty, the Bald Eagles of the Pacific Northwest command awe with their imposing presence and soaring flight. These majestic birds are known for their conservation efforts which have helped in increasing their population over the years. They are skilled hunters, using a variety of techniques including swooping down from great heights to catch fish or snatching prey from the water’s surface. Now let’s shift our focus to another captivating bird species: western bluebirds.

Western Bluebirds

Native to the western regions of North America, Western Bluebirds are small migratory birds that captivate observers with their vibrant blue plumage and melodious songs. These birds have distinctive features such as a blue upper body, orange breast, and white belly.

They prefer open woodlands and meadows as their habitat, where they can find suitable nesting sites in tree cavities or nest boxes.

Transitioning into the next section, American Goldfinches display a completely different set of characteristics.

American Goldfinches

American Goldfinches, commonly found in the western regions of North America, are small migratory birds known for their vibrant yellow plumage and cheerful songs. These distinctive birds undergo seasonal migrations, with some populations traveling as far as Mexico during the winter months. American Goldfinches are known to breed in open habitats such as meadows and fields, where they build cup-shaped nests using plant fibers and down feathers. The next subtopic will focus on Northern Flickers, another fascinating species of backyard bird.

Northern Flickers

Northern Flickers, a type of woodpecker found in North America, are known for their distinctive markings and behavior. They have a brown body with black bars on their back and wings, along with a spotted belly. Additionally, they display a unique ‘flickering’ flight pattern as they fly from tree to tree.

In terms of nesting habits and diet, Northern Flickers typically excavate their own nests in dead trees or utility poles using their strong beaks. Their diet consists mainly of ants and beetles which they find by probing the ground with their pointed bills.

To attract these birds to your backyard, providing dead trees or snags for nesting opportunities and offering an abundance of insects through maintaining healthy soil can increase the likelihood of attracting Northern Flickers.

Explore the distinctive markings and behavior of Northern Flickers

Exhibiting unique plumage patterns and displaying intriguing foraging behavior, the Northern Flicker captivates birdwatchers with its distinctive markings and captivating actions. To engage the audience, let’s explore three fascinating aspects of this species:

  1. Distinctive calls that can be heard during territorial disputes.

  2. Migration patterns that vary among different subspecies.

  3. Varied foraging techniques, including probing into soil and tree bark for ants and beetles.

Now let’s learn about their nesting habits and diet to further understand these remarkable birds.

Learn about their nesting habits and diet

Northern Flickers, also known as Colaptes auratus, exhibit interesting nesting habits and have a diverse diet. These woodpeckers typically excavate their nest cavities in dead trees or utility poles, with both male and female participating in the construction process.

They primarily feed on ants and beetles found in the ground or on tree trunks. Understanding these nesting habits and dietary preferences is crucial for attracting Northern Flickers to your backyard.

Now let’s explore some tips for creating an inviting environment for these birds.

Tips for attracting Northern Flickers to your backyard

One interesting statistic to note is that creating a suitable nesting environment with dead trees or utility poles can increase the chances of attracting Northern Flickers.

To attract woodpeckers like Northern Flickers, follow these steps in creating a bird friendly backyard:

  1. Provide natural food sources such as insects and berries.

  2. Install bird feeders with suet or nuts.

  3. Plant native trees and shrubs for shelter and nesting sites.

Moving on to another fascinating species, let’s now explore barred owls.

Barred Owls

Barred Owls, a species of owl found in the backyard habitats of Oregon, Idaho, and Washington, possess distinctive horizontal barring patterns on their feathers.

These owls are commonly found in dense forests with a mix of coniferous and deciduous trees.

They are known to migrate short distances during harsh weather conditions or when food availability is low.

Barred Owls prefer to nest in tree cavities or abandoned nests made by other large birds.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the lifespan of a hummingbird and how long do they usually live in the wild?

Hummingbirds, with their delicate bodies and iridescent feathers, are like fleeting rays of sunlight darting through the air. These remarkable creatures have an average lifespan ranging from 3 to 5 years in the wild. However, some hummingbirds have been known to live up to 10 years or more.

Their migration patterns play a crucial role in their survival, as they travel long distances to find suitable habitats and food sources throughout the year.

How do bald eagles choose their nesting sites and how long do they typically stay in one location?

Bald eagles exhibit specific nesting habits when selecting sites and typically remain in one location for a considerable period. They choose nesting spots based on various factors, including proximity to water bodies with abundant prey, suitable tree height, and good visibility. These majestic birds are known to reuse nests and may occupy the same site for several years.

In contrast, hummingbirds have comparatively shorter lifespans but can live up to 12 years in the wild due to their unique physiological adaptations and efficient metabolism.

Are western bluebirds native to the Pacific Northwest or are they migratory birds that only visit during certain seasons?

Are Western Bluebirds native to the Pacific Northwest or are they migratory birds that only visit during certain seasons?

The migration patterns of Western Bluebirds and population trends in the Pacific Northwest have been extensively studied. These scientific investigations have revealed that while some Western Bluebirds reside year-round in the region, many others migrate to warmer areas during winter.

The population of Western Bluebirds in the Pacific Northwest has shown fluctuations over time, influenced by various factors such as habitat availability and climate conditions.

How can I attract American goldfinches to my backyard and what type of food do they prefer?

To attract American Goldfinches to your backyard, there are a few strategies you can employ. Creating a butterfly garden with specific plant selections can be effective in attracting these birds.

Preferred food types for American Goldfinches include Nyjer (thistle) seeds and sunflower hearts. To provide these foods, you can build a bird feeder using DIY tips.

Placing the feeders in an open, easily accessible area will increase the chances of attracting American Goldfinches to your backyard.

What is the unique feeding behavior of northern flickers and how does it differ from other woodpecker species?

Northern flickers have a unique feeding behavior that distinguishes them from other woodpecker species. Unlike most woodpeckers, they spend more time foraging on the ground rather than drilling into trees. This is due to their preference for ants and beetles, which are found in abundance in soil and grassy areas. Factors such as habitat availability and seasonal variations influence their feeding habits. Additionally, northern flickers employ a distinctive foraging technique known as ‘ground-sallying,’ where they rapidly hop forward to catch prey flushed out by their probing bills.

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