If there was ever a place to go bird watching, it is on the Olympic Peninsula.
Just a few nights ago I was enjoying an evening walk as I observed a bald eagle perched on a rooftop and blue herons majestically soaring overhead. And as I make my daily commute, I see Trumpeter Swans foraging in the Chimacum Valley farm fields. These gifts of Mother Nature are amazing sights, to say the least.
In addition to bald eagles and blue herons, expect to spot loons, ring-billed gulls, belted kingfishers, and northwestern crows to name a few. Over 300 species of birds live on the Olympic Peninsula and with so many birding opportunities available – here are a few of our favorites.
Get a new perspective out on Ludlow Bay
Ludlow Bay is the perfect place to kayak, paddleboard, birdwatch and enjoy Port Ludlow from a new perspective. From the comfort of your watercraft, enjoy Mother Nature at her finest. Relax and breathe in the fresh air as you watch the eagles soar and blue herons dive headfirst into the water in search for food.
Port Ludlow is also home to Purple Martins aka Pronge subis arboricola. Purple Martins are the largest member of the swallow family in the United States and nest in trees or gourds placed near the water to protect the species. Purple Martins west of the Rocky Mountains rely on human-supplied housing for survival. Keep your eyes out at the Port Ludlow Marina for gourds specifically placed for Purple Martins. A community member and Purple Martin enthusiast puts the gourds out yearly to protect the mosquito eating bird species.
The 14th annual Olympic Peninsula BirdFest is coming up in just a few weeks during the weekend of April 7th – 9th. The festival provides an opportunity for residents and visitors alike to see firsthand the variety of birds that live on the Olympic Peninsula. The festival features field trips to Sequim Bay, Port Angeles Harbor, Dungeness Spit, and more as well as presentations and workshops.
Mt. Walker is a fantastic place to birdwatch. Expect to see birds including Hermit and Townsend’s Warblers, Sooty Grouse, Gray and Steller’s Jays, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Northern Pygmy Owls, and more. And as a bonus – enjoy the panoramic views of Mt. Rainier, the Puget Sound, and even Seattle!
Bird Migration Cuise
Join Puget Sound Express for a bird migration cruise. The three-hour cruise will take you just outside of Port Townsend to Protection Island – a National Wildlife Refuge. Almost 70% of the nesting seabird population of Puget Sound and the Straits are located on the island. Protection Island also has one of the last two nesting colonies of tufted puffins in the Puget Sound area.
Wednesday Morning Bird Walks
Enjoy a Wednesday Morning Bird Walk at the Dungeness River Audubon Center in Sequim. These guided and informative walks teach visitors about the annual cycle of birds in the area. All ages and exercise levels are invited to attend.
Where is your favorite place to bird watch on the Olympic Peninsula? We would love to hear your stories and see your photos! Share with us on social media: Facebook: @portludlow and Instagram: @theresortatportludlow.
Written by: Kaitlin Chester