Birds and Birding in and around Tieton
Photographs by Clare McLean


Bird-lovers will relish birdwatching at El Nido and in the surrounding Yakima Valley--in fact, you don't have to go much farther than your doorstep to enjoy a variety of species, many of which are not often seen in the Puget Sound. During summer, evening grosbeaks adore the bird-feeder on the central lawn while crowds of red crossbills, warblers, sparrows, chickadees and bushtits throng the property's  trees and bushes.  Amble toward the pond and you can't miss gangs of gabby magpies. Or stroll along the main road to see red-tailed hawks, kestrels and other raptors hunt at the fringes of orchards for rodents, reptiles and small birds.

If you are keen to see western and mountain bluebirds, Umtanum Road (a sturdy vehicle is advised) is paradise, thanks to the Yakima Audubon Society, which has built scores of bluebird nesting boxes through this little-traveled shrub-steppe environment. For Lewis's woodpeckers, head to the river that flows through Oak Creek Canyon or drive west along Cowiche Mill Road past Snow Mountain Ranch. Western kingbirds as well are abundant west of Snow Mountain Ranch and American Dipper frequent streams there.

Within a five-mile radius of Tieton the following--and many more--can be seen: the great-horned owl, hooded oriole, bullock's oriole, black-headed grosbeak, yellow-rumped warbler, yellow warbler, American goldfinch, Barn swallow, violet-green swallow, bewick's wren, house wren, Anna's hummingbird, rufous hummingbird, kestrel, bald eagle, and the turkey vulture.

For more information about Clare and her photography click here