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Birds are also warm-blooded vertebrates but they are further characterized by feathers, wings, beaked jaws, and egg-laying. Birds are incredibly diverse, from the small hummingbird to the large ostrich. One fascinating fact about birds is that they’re related to dinosaurs!

Image for Strix varia

Barred Owl

Strix varia


photo credit: Darian Santner

Barred owls are arboreal and live in coniferous forests where water is nearby. They nest in tree cavities. Like most owls, they are nocturnal hunters, eating small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. It is not native to Washington and has displaced most of the spotted owls in the Pacific Northwest.
Image for Dryobates pubescens

Downy Woodpecker

Dryobates pubescens


photo credit: Darian Santner

The downy woodpecker is the smallest woodpecker in North America. It lives in a wide range of habitats from wilderness areas to backyards. It feeds on insects - especially beetles, ants, and caterpillars - but will eat berries as well.
Image for Spinus psaltria

Lesser Goldfinch

Spinus psaltria


photo credit: Darian Santner

The lesser goldfinch is a very small songbird that lives in a variety of habitats, including residential neighborhoods, farms, woodlands, and fields. They are highly social and have tapered beaks that allow them to access alder seeds.
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Red-Shouldered Hawk

Buteo lineatus


photo credit: Darian Santner

Rather rare only a decade ago, they have extended their range north and are now breeding in Clark County. These hawks hunt by watching from a perch and swooping down when they locate small mammals, birds, reptiles, and even amphibians.
Image for Aythya collaris

Ring-Necked Duck

Aythya collaris


photo credit: Darian Santner

The ring-necked duck dives down, usually in water a few feet deep, to reach its food which consists of aquatic plants, seeds, and insects. They are common in the winter but migrate to Canada to breed in the spring.
Image for Selasphorus rufus

Rufous Hummingbird

Selasphorus rufus


photo credit: Darian Santner

A regular visitor to backyard feeders, the rufous hummingbird only weighs three to four grams. And while we think of them as nectar feeders, they also consume flies, wasps, and bees. They have been known to steal insects that have been trapped in spider webs.
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Spotted Towhee

Pipilo maculatus


photo credit: Darian Santner

The spotted towhee is a large sparrow that hops over the ground beneath dense shrubs, scratching in leaf litter for food. In the breeding season, they mostly eat arthropods. In the winter they generally eat seeds, berries, and acorns.
Image for Cyanocitta stelleri

Steller's Jay

Cyanocitta stelleri


photo credit: Darian Santner

A steller’s jay is blue in color with a black crest. They are most numerous in coniferous forests and are often seen visiting bird feeders. They are omnivorous, extracting hard seeds and nuts by pounding them with their beak. They also eat fruit, insects, and even rodents.
Image for Cygnus buccinator

Trumpeter Swan

Cygnus buccinator


photo credit: Darian Santner

The trumpeter swan is the largest waterfowl species in North America. Their wings stretch out to six feet and they use their long necks to reach vegetation at the bottom of bodies of water. They were once endangered but their numbers are starting to come back.
Image for Sitta carolinensis

White-Breasted Nuthatch

Sitta carolinensis


photo credit: Darian Santner

White-breasted nuthatches are great at climbing vertically up and down tree trunks. They do this as they look for insects hiding in the cracks and crevices of the bark. They also eat large seeds and nuts, which they stuff into these crevices and then crack them open to ‘hatch’ the nut.
Image for Zonotrichia albicollis

White-Throated Sparrow

Zonotrichia albicollis


photo credit: Darian Santner

The white-throated sparrow is less common in the west than in the eastern half of the country. It prefers to feed along shrubby edges of fields, eating terrestrial arthropods. Their call is said to be a whistled, “Poor Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody."

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