The greater northeast Seattle area has gardens, natural areas, wetlands, parks and even golf courses which provide sanctuary for birds.
Information for the Arboretum, the Center for Urban Horticulture and the Union Bay Natural Area are grouped in the UW Botanic Gardens webpage. The Union Bay Natural Area, a public wildlife, natural restoration laboratory, is an important habitat next to Lake Washington. It has four miles of shoreline, the second largest natural system left on the lake (second only to Seward Park.) Considered one of the best bird-watching sites in the city of Seattle, over 200 species of birds have been sighted at Union Bay. The Yesler Swamp Trail begins east of the Center for Urban Horticulture parking lot, 3501 NE 41st Street in Laurelhurst. Yesler Swamp is part of the Union Bay Natural Area with a unique history. The bird blog of Joe Sweeney is one of the best sources for learning about birds and wildlife in the “Montlake Fill” (Union Bay Natural Area) and all around northeast Seattle.
Have you seen Eleanor and Eva, the northeast Seattle eagles? The mission of the Union Bay Watch blog is to promote the appreciation of wildlife on and around Union Bay, which extends from Husky Stadium to Laurelhurst on the east; the Montlake neighborhood is on the south side of Union Bay. The adventures of eagles, peregrine falcons, herons and other waterbirds are documented on the blog, including the family of eagles who live on the Broadmoor Golf Course and fly around the areas of the Arboretum, Montlake and the 520 bridge. Commenters may post sightings of where they have seen the eagles during the day, including eaglets Eleanor and Eva who most recently learned to fly.
John James Audubon (1785 to 1851) was a French-American scientific specialist in the study of birds. He was also a painter and is best known for The Birds of America book with portraits of every bird then known in the USA. Audubon himself was not the founder of the Audubon Society, but years later groups of people concerned about nature and conservation of birds named their organization for him. The main office of the Seattle Audubon Society and its Nature Shop is in Wedgwood and is a great resource for information about birds, animals and plants.
Have you started your holiday season gift list yet? Bird books make great gifts. Birding in Seattle and King County, second edition is available at the Seattle Audubon Nature Shop at 8050 35th Ave NE in Wedgwood, by phone at 523-4483 or on-line. This 2012 edition updates author Gene Hunn’s original book printed in 1982, and documents 377 species of birds all the way over to the Cascade Crest of King County. Extensive maps show well-known birding sites and recently-discovered “hot spots.” Mr. Hunn describes how recovered landscapes such as the former Sand Point Naval Air Station and the Montlake Fill have become valuable bird habitats.