Last Updated on August 28, 2021 by Guillermina
Are you a bird enthusiast living in Washington? Then you’re going to read our feature about the small birds of Washington State.
Whether you’re a birdwatcher or are curious about the little fellows that fly around in your backyard, you will want to learn about the birds you come across.
Birds completely alter the natural look of a place, no matter how beautiful. Be it a lush, green park or wide-open field; birds can add a spot color and music to your life.
If you’re based in the northwesternmost state of the United States, this feature can help you with birds of Washington state identification. So, grab a comfy seat and follow us as we list out some of the smallest avian species of the area.
7 Common Birds In Washington State
1. Song Sparrow
The song sparrow is one of the commonest birds in Washington state. It is also called Melospiza melodia. These birds have plump little bodies with cone-shaped beaks and long rounded tails. Their color can vary from dirty brown and rusty to gray.
You can find the song sparrow in Western United States, Northeastern United States, and Western Canada. Their residence is usually near shrubberies, trees, bushes, and thickets. Any areas with trees and bushes near water are also likely to have song sparrows. However, startled birds are likelier to seek refuge near low covers where there’s plenty of room to hide.
Song sparrows are not too picky about what they eat and feed on seeds and worms.
2. American Robin
American Robin, also called Turdus migratorius, is one of the most commonly found birds in Washington. The bird is native to the Northern United States but will migrate to southern parts in the winters.
American Robins are used as standard birds for comparison to unknown species. They’re about 10 inches long from tail to beak and have round bodies. More often than not, American Robins are compared to Blue Jays because of the size similarity.
They have straight and lean beaks that are slightly curved at the end. But, their rusty orange breasts are a quick giveaway. You can find them in woodlands, farms, lawns, and parks.
3. Downy Woodpecker
Downy woodpecker, also called Picoides pubescens, is a smaller version of the regular woodpecker. They have short bills, white chests, and black upper bodies. Their black feathers contain specks of white as well.
You will find that the male downy woodpecker has a clear red spot on their head which distinguishes them from the female. Another distinct feature is their high-pitched call.
This species is pretty common throughout the Washington state and is visible throughout the year. However, you can easily attract a downy woodpecker to your lawn with peanuts, sunflower seeds, or sweet water.
4. American Goldfinch
The American Goldfinch goes by many names. Its scientific name is Spinus tristis, but many will refer to it as a wild canary. These beauties measure 5 inches from the conical, pinkish bills to their tails. Much like all the birds on this list so far, Goldfinches have a rounded form with proportional heads. However, their tails are quite small in comparison.
American Goldfinches change colors with the weather. In summers, you’ll find them looking bright yellow with stripes of black and white. However, in winters, their cover turns pale yellow with highlights of tan and brown in their tail and wings. Their preferred hang-out spots include weedy fields.
5. American Crow
The American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) is another common bird of Washington. It is easy to differentiate from most birds due to its long size and jet-black coat. And, in case you miss all those black plumes, there’s always the loud caw that’ll help you identify these birds.
These birds have thick necks, short squared tails, and large heads. Their legs are also larger than most birds, and their bills are as long as their head. Another fascinating fact about the American Crow is that its wings almost look like fingers in flight.
They’re generally found in most open areas, near trees, farms, lawns, and parks. American crows will gather at dusk in a noisy communal meeting, and they part ways at dawn. American crows are omnivorous birds, so you should keep them away from your bird feeders.
6. Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis) are native to mountainous forests or chilly climates – which is why they’re sometimes called snowbirds. And they migrate to Washington to beat the cold. We know that’s not something you hear every day.
They are similar to a finch in size and have short, round bodies with small necks and long tails. Their beaks aren’t too long-drawn and are somewhat pink in color.
Western dark-eyed juncos have black hooded heads with brown bodies. Eastern birds, however, don’t have black hoods. Instead, they have a grayish body with a white chest. These birds come from coniferous forests and reside in open, widely-spaced bushes.
7. Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker, also known as Colaptes auratus, is a thick bird with short legs and a tail. It has a brown back with black highlights, and the chest is slightly pinkish with a few black spots.
Its stand-out feature is the thin, long bill (almost as long as its head) somewhat curved at the tips. And, a Nothern Flicker’s beak is also why some confuse it with a woodpecker.
These birds are typically found in forest areas and near woodlands. They feast on ants, worms, beetles, and sunflower seeds.
The thing about ‘small’ is that it’s a pretty relative term. Finches are pretty small on their own, but what about when they’re compared to hummingbirds? We leave the answer to you.
What we’re hoping for is that you had a great time learning about the avifauna on our list. We’ve included Washington State birds’ pictures to ensure you don’t miss out on a single one on your next day out.