Bird Watching

The Arboretum provides excellent bird/wildlife viewing opportunities.

A large variety of birds lives at or visits the Arboretum grounds throughout the year. During the winter months local Audubon Society members maintain a winter feeding station at the bird blind located in the northeast corner of the Arboretum grounds near the brush holding/work area.

Look for nesting boxes that serve a variety of birds located throughout the grounds. Winter is also a great time to spot birds feeding in the Crabapple and Hawthorn Collections.

The Yakima Valley Audubon Society has produced an excellent bird viewing guide and checklist for the Yakima Area Arboretum. Download a copy of Birding the Yakima Area Arboretum to learn more about birds that visit the Arboretum each year.

Birding Tips

  • Look for birds in trees, in ponds, on the ground, as well as in the sky.
  • Listen for flocking calls and birdsong. Each species has a distinctive call and song.
  • Learn about the various habitats each species requires.
  • Use binoculars and have a field guide handy for identification.
  • Be patient and quiet.
  • Join a conservation group such as the Yakima Valley Audubon Society dedicated to perserving habitat for birds.

Birds found at the Yakima Area Arboretum

The following bird list was compiled in cooperation with the Yakima Valley Audubon Society. Common names of birds and their order are in accordance with the July 1995 supplement to the 6th edition of the American Ornithological Union Checklist of North American Birds.

Download Birding PDF


  • Pied-billed Grebe SM, FW

Heron-Like Birds

  • Heron-Like Birds

Chicken-Like Birds

  • Ring-necked Pheasant RT, PG, WM
  • California Quail RT, PG, WM

Marsh Birds

  • Virginia Rail SM
  • American Coot SM, FW


  • Killdeer SM, PG, WM
  • Black-necked Stilt SM
  • Greater Yellowlegs SM
  • Lesser Yellowlegs SM
  • Spotted Sandpiper SM, WM
  • Western Sandpiper SM
  • Least Sandpiper SM
  • Long-billed Dowitcher SM
  • Common Snipe SM, WM
  • Wilson’s Phalarope SM, FW
  • Red-necked Phalarope WM, FW


  • Western Wood Peewee RT, PG
  • Willow Flycatcher RT
  • Dusky Flycatcher RT
  • Western Kingbird RT, PG
  • Eastern Kingbird RT


  • Tree Swallows RT, SM
  • Violet-green Swallow RT, SM, PG
  • Northern Rough-Winged Swallow RT, SM
  • Bank Swallow RT, SM
  • Cliff Swallow RT, SM
  • Barn Swallow RT, SM, PG


  • Orange-crowned Warbler RT, PG
  • Nashville Warbler RT, PG
  • Yellow Warbler RT, PG
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) RT, PG (Myrtle) RT, PG
  • Townsend’s Warbler RT, PG
  • MacGillivray’s Warbler RT, PG
  • Common Yellowthroat RT, PG
  • Wilson’s Warbler RT, PG

Blackbirds, Orioles

  • Red-winged Blackbird RT, PG
  • Western Meadowlark PG, WM
  • Brewer’s Blackbird RT, PG, WM
  • Brown-headed Cowbird RT, PG
  • Bullock’s Oriole RT, PG

Heron-Like Birds

  • Osprey RT, WM
  • Bald Eagle RT
  • Northern Harrier RT, SM, WM
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk RT
  • Coopers Hawk RT
  • Northern Goshawk RT
  • Red-tailed Hawk RT
  • American Kestrel RT, PG, WM
  • Merlin RT, PG
  • Prairie Falcon RT

Gull-like Birds

  • Ring-billed Gull SM, PG, FW, WM
  • California Gull SM, FW
  • Herring Gull SM, FW
  • Caspian Tern SM

Pigeon-like Birds

  • Rock Dove PG
  • Mourning Dove RT, PG, WM

Owls and other Nocturnal Birds

  • Barn Owl RT
  • Western Screech Owl RT
  • Great Horned Owl RT
  • Long-eared Owl RT
  • Northern Saw-whet Owl RT, PG
  • Common Nighthawk PG, WM

Shrikes, Vireos

  • Shrikes, VireosBarn Owl RT
  • Western Screech Owl RT
  • Great Horned Owl RT
  • Long-eared Owl RT
  • Northern Saw-whet Owl RT, PG
  • Common Nighthawk PG, WM

Thrushes, Mimics

  • Townsend’s Solitaire RT, PG
  • Swainson’s Thrush RT
  • Hermit Thrush RT
  • Varied Thrush RT, PG
  • American Pipit WM
  • Bohemian Waxwing RT, PG
  • Cedar Waxwing RT, PG
  • European Starling RT, SM, PG

Tangers, Grosbeaks, Buntings

  • Western Tanager RT, PG
  • Black-headed Grosbeak


  • House Finch RT, PG
  • Common Redpoll RT, PG
  • Pine Siskin RT, PG
  • American Goldfinch RT, PG
  • House Sparrow RT, PG

Swans, Geese, Ducks

  • Canada Goose SM, FW, WM
  • Wood Duck FW
  • Green-winged Teal RT, SM, FW
  • Mallard SM, FW
  • Northern Pintail SM, FW
  • Cinnamon Teal SM, FW
  • Northern Shoveler SM, FW
  • Gadwall SM, FW
  • American Wigeon WM, FW, WM
  • Lesser Scaup FW
  • Common Goldeneye FW
  • Bufflehead FW
  • Common Merganser FW
  • Ruddy Duck SM, FW

Swifts, Hummingbirds, Kingfishers

  • Vaux’s Swift RT
  • Black-chinned Hummingbird RT, PG
  • Calliope Hummingbird RT, PG
  • Rufous Hummingbird PG
  • Belted Kingfisher RT


  • Lewis’ Woodpecker RT, PG
  • Downy Woodpecker RT, PG
  • Hairy Woodpecker RT, PG
  • Northern (Red-shafted) Flicker RT, PG

Jays, Crows

  • Black-billed Magpie RT, PG
  • American Crow RT, PG
  • Common Raven RT, WM

Chickadees, Nuthatches, Wrens

  • Black-capped Chickadee RT, PG
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch RT, PG
  • Bewick’s Wren RT
  • House Wren RT, PG
  • Winter Wren RT
  • Marsh Wren SM
  • American Dipper FW
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet RT, PG
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet RT, PG


  • Spotted Towhee RT, PG
  • Chipping Sparrow RT, PG
  • Fox Sparrow RT, SM
  • Song Sparrow RT, PG
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow RT, PG
  • White-crowned Sparrow RT, PG
  • Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco RT, PG, WM