West Seattle ‘snow birds’: A photo gallery of their own

January 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle weather, Wildlife | 27 Comments


When we mentioned receiving so many bird photos during the snow/ice storm that they seemed to merit their own gallery, that drew some positive response – so we’re launching it now, between morning/afternoon coverage, and will continue adding to it. Top photo is Mark Wangerin‘s male Anna’s Hummingbird; next, a beautiful owl whose photo was tweeted by Illusions Hair Design (WSB sponsor) last night:

Beautiful – and of course the bigger birds can be deadly too. Sherman’s Corner posted this next one on Facebook, looking to ID this bird that suddenly swooped down and killed a pigeon in the back yard:

Taught well by WSB birders, we guessed Cooper’s Hawk. Were we correct?

ADDED THURSDAY NIGHT: Suzanne has shared some wonderful photos. First one we’re featuring – a flicker (type of woodpecker, if you didn’t already know that):

Danny McMillin photographed this bald eagle on Monday near Alki Point:

On our snowy Sunday (seems so long ago!), Satom photographed Steller’s Jays with blooming witch hazel (thanks to Toni Reineke for forwarding the photo):

These crows were photographed by Emily Austin:

And here, courtesy of Mark Dale, is an American Robin:

AND MORE: Many hummingbirds. From Monica and Lisa:

Another bird from Mark Wangerin – this time a spotted towhee:

Plus one more from Suzanne, a fox sparrow:

Christina says her Khaki Campbell ducks were not pleased by the weather:

13-year-old Helen caught a group of robins:

Katie declared these to be robin tracks:

And we’re going to end with a bird-related sight: Beautifully iced chicken wire, from Brian Allen:

Thanks AGAIN to everyone who has shared photos, of birds and kids and iced plant stems and stuck buses and snowpeople and so much more. Sorry we couldn’t publish every single one … but don’t stop!


  1. Looks like the sharp shinned hawk which has been haunting my bird feeder. Wish he would come by today, he could have his fill of the greedy, piggy rat birds (aka starlings).

    Comment by linda — 1:23 pm January 19, 2012 #

  2. I think you’re right, WSB, Cooper’s. Size says so, although smallish head says Sharpie. Unless that pigeon is only half visible, this bird nerd says Cooper’s.
    Stunning hummingbird photo!!

    Comment by Amalia — 1:30 pm January 19, 2012 #

  3. Not sure if it’s a sharp shinned or Cooper’s, but I like his style! Wish there more of him and waaaay fewer pigeons. Life and death in the big city. Nature never sleeps.

    Comment by Chuck & Sally's Van Man — 1:33 pm January 19, 2012 #

  4. Great Photo of the Annas! And a good reminder to all who keep up with Hummingbird feeders over the winter, to make sure to check to see if your feeders have frozen! My little guys were waiting in a lineup for the swap out from ‘Frozen to Liquid’ this morning! :)

    Comment by Lisa Town — 1:48 pm January 19, 2012 #

  5. I think it is called a yellow feathered peigon killer.

    Comment by boy — 2:21 pm January 19, 2012 #

  6. Great pictures! Thanks to those who sent them in and thanks to WSB for posting them!

    Comment by Alkira — 2:30 pm January 19, 2012 #

  7. The owls are not what they seem. The owls are not what they seem. ;)

    Comment by undrgrndwmn — 2:31 pm January 19, 2012 #

  8. I’m finding even though the liquid inside the feeders isn’t freezing the little access holes for the hummingbirds are, so I’m going out every hour just to open those back up.

    Comment by linda — 2:43 pm January 19, 2012 #

  9. Oh! Linda, thanks for the tip. I’d been checking that the liquid wasn’t freezing, and it wasn’t, but now I’ll go out to check the portals! Thanks!

    Comment by Valerie — 3:30 pm January 19, 2012 #

  10. I’m guessing Cooper’s by the slimmer shape and tail.

    Comment by G — 3:32 pm January 19, 2012 #

  11. I sent my daughter out with sunflower seeds for the birds。

    Comment by Cclarue — 4:03 pm January 19, 2012 #

  12. Yeah, I felt bad I didn’t think of this until several hours after I had set the feeders out, thankfully each feeder had at least one open hole. Now I’m cleaning the snow off to keep the holes open. And filling the bird feeder with seed for all the other birds.

    Comment by linda — 4:04 pm January 19, 2012 #

  13. They are all great! I really love the crow photo.

    Comment by Amy — 8:16 pm January 19, 2012 #

  14. Thanks for these fantastic photos. The Stellars Jay with the witch hazel was very colorful!

    Comment by enviromaven — 8:27 pm January 19, 2012 #

  15. A yellow-shafted flicker too! Those aren’t are usual flickers -the red-shafted ones are – though they and intergrades seem to show up in the winter quite a bit.

    Great pics!

    Comment by liz m — 8:33 pm January 19, 2012 #

  16. I agree on Cooper’s Hawk. No Sharp-shinned Hawk would be as close (or bigger) in size to a pigeon.
    BTW linda, how do you get your tongue into those little tiny hummingbird feeders to keep them unfrozen? And aren’t you afraid you’ll get the frozen flag pole effect ;-)

    Comment by JumboJim — 8:37 pm January 19, 2012 #

  17. I put out a suet feeder for the first time on Saturday and am fascinating by a dozen tiny birds at a time hanging on and snacking. It’s so adorable! Haven’t been able to get a good photo without disturbing them though. The (indoor) cat is enjoying it too as he stares from the window and imagines birdie snacks he’ll never get.

    Comment by Sue — 8:39 pm January 19, 2012 #

  18. LOVE the crows! Fabulous photo!
    I know, the hybridized orange-shafted flicker has been showing up at my feeder (I took the photo), reminding my of my days back east. Weird to see! It’s even yellower than it looks in this photo.

    Comment by Amalia — 9:03 pm January 19, 2012 #

  19. I <3 bird geeks

    Comment by ET — 9:43 pm January 19, 2012 #

  20. “The dozen tiny birds” at the suet are most likely bushtits; they travel in swarms (except when they mate up in spring / summer). I’ve been getting bushtits, as well as yellow-rumped and Townsend’s warblers at my suet, along with flickers and far too many starlings.

    Comment by Mary — 9:48 pm January 19, 2012 #

  21. Great bird shots!
    One word of caution, please be careful about using flash photo strobes with owls. One school of thought is that it may cause permanent damage to their very light-sensitive eyes. Even temporary light blindness for some birds may last much longer than it does for humans, making them vulnerable to predators and also interfering with their ability to hunt prey.

    Comment by Christopher Boffoli — 9:56 pm January 19, 2012 #

  22. So the bread I threw out today got promptly covered by the (unexpected) snow and tonight watched three BIG raccoons having a feast. Oh well, they have to eat too.

    Comment by GreatSoFar — 11:22 pm January 19, 2012 #

  23. when i finished replacing the frozen solid bird bath water today, immediately a single Townsend’s landed and checked it out, drank and called his peeps (:)) over. About 6 or 7 Townsends at once! I have never seen them in my yard before this “event” and only one at a time previously elsewhere. So neat! no camera handy though.

    i like the crows’ shot too, btw.

    Comment by westseattledood — 11:26 pm January 19, 2012 #

  24. Love Townsend’s! Got a photo of one on the snow yesterday (I’m not a good photog, though).
    In my excitement of having a fox sparrow in my yard (above), I labeled the wrong photo – that is actually a song sparrow shown.
    Suet’s almost gone – keep ‘em full!

    Comment by Amalia — 8:02 am January 20, 2012 #

  25. I wish I could tell one accipiter from the other – gave up long ago. The Anna’s pic up top is my favorite photo. I was just about to post that the sparrow is actually a Song Sparrow, but I see Amalia beat me to it. I would love to see the photo of the Fox Sparrow!

    By the way, Stewart Wechsler is doing another Owl Prowl at Schmitz Preserve Park this evening if anyone wants to see / hear Barred Owls. Great way to beat the cabin fever!


    Comment by Lauren @ Northwest TripFinder — 9:23 am January 20, 2012 #

  26. Has anyone seen any of the West Seattle coyotes around, lately?

    Comment by Marcia — 10:36 am January 20, 2012 #

  27. I love all the birdie pics, but one of the jays in the witch hazel is a total stunner! That’s a complementary color scheme, you know!

    Comment by MMB — 10:59 pm January 20, 2012 #

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