Friends of Marymoor Park

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What to see in February?

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The optimism of January seems to take a month off in February. This is by far the least “birdy” month of the year. I think both birds and birders are tired of winter and are hoping for the first hints of spring. Those, however, don’t usually appear until March.

Mostly, the birds are the same as for January, only fewer. The rarer geese get less common, as do the winter ducks. Gulls, however, seem to find the grass fields a winter bonanza whenever they aren’t frozen over. Maybe the gulls can find worms or grubs. At least 8 species of gull have been found in February.

Short-eared Owls can sometimes be found, especially near dawn and dusk, over the East Meadow.

Late in the month, there’s a slim chance for a really early spring surprise. Five times, we’ve had swallows in February – usually Tree Swallows. It’s enough to give one hope.

Rarities for February have included Redhead, Dunlin, Herring Gull, Thayer’s Gull, Glaucous Gull, Barred Owl, Horned Lark, American Tree Sparrow, and Swamp Sparrow.


Glaucous Gull, 2007-02-14.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Barrow's, 2012-02-23.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

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