While there's nothing like going out on an excursion to see some nature, whether you're hiking on a trail or paddling a boat, sometimes nature comes to you--especially if Seattle is your home. Yesterday I was sitting in my living room talking with some friends, when to my amazement some bright yellow wings flapped by my window and alighted on a tree limb...
I had heard about the beautiful Western Tanager from friends who camp on the east side of the Cascades every summer, and was considering making my way out there to see the bird later this July. But now I can save myself the trip.
According to Seattle Audubon, the Western Tanager is one of about eighteen charismatic songbirds that winter in the tropics and nest in the summer in the Northwest. Keep staring out that window--maybe you'll be as lucky as me and see one! Some of the other migratory birds to keep on the lookout for include the Yellow-rumped Warbler, the Western Wood Pewee, Hammond's Flycatcher, the American Redstart, the Nashville Warbler, and Bullock's Oriole, to name a few.
You can make your yard more attractive to these and other birds by planting trees, shrubs and other foliage that will attract and shelter such passing delights. Check in with the experts at Sky Nursery (Shoreline), City People's Garden Store (Madison Park) or Swanson's Nursery (Ballard) to find out more about how you can turn your backyard into a sanctuary for wildlife near and far. And if you really want to get into it, get your garden certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Wildlife-Friendly Garden.