Neighborhood Bird Outings

American Robin / Dennis Atwell / Audubon

Home 9 Get Involved 9 Go Birding 9 Neighborhood Bird Outings

Neighborhood Bird Outings (formerly Neighborhood Bird Walks) are back.

These outings are open to all with no pre-registration required. Group size will vary.

Outings occur rain or shine, though will be canceled for dangerous weather conditions.

Please leave pets at home.

Note mask requirements for each outing. Any participant is welcome to wear a mask on any trip.

Seeking an outing with a guaranteed group size and pre-registration? Register for the field trip lottery.

Saturday May 14, 9:00-10:30am
Carkeek Park
Leader: Elaine Chuang
Meeting Point: Beach Parking Lot (near the playground), and meet on the sidewalk near the pedestrian railroad-overpass
Trip Accessibility: 1 (leisurely pace), B/C (soft ground and gravel paths, hiking trails with gentle rolling hills), ~ 1-2 miles walking
No masks required
As we transition into spring, migratory songbirds have been arriving from their southern wintering grounds. Many pass through western Washington on their way farther north, and others remain in the Puget Sound region for nesting season. The varied terrain and mixed forest that makes up Carkeek Park are ideal for appreciation of spring bird-life: birds are vocalizing and interacting with each other, from courtship through nesting and eventually the rearing of their young. Join our exploration by driving down and through Carkeek to the Beach Parking Lot (near the playground), and meet on the sidewalk near the pedestrian railroad-overpass. Our walk will begin with a brief orientation (and official sign-in), followed by a visit to Carkeek’s shoreline. We will then explore the Wetland Trail and adjacent meadows and forest habitat along the creek, our walk extending as far as Piper’s Orchard, detecting bird-life by sight and sound along the way. The walk will proceed at a leisurely pace with minimal elevation gain.

Helpful Resources

Participants should always be prepared for cool, windy, and/or rainy weather, and should check the weather forecast prior to each walk. Participants are encouraged to bring their own binoculars, or borrow a pair from the Seattle Audubon Nature Shop (please arrange ahead of time).

Friday May 27, 9:00-11:30am
Green Lake Park
Leader: Roniq Bartanen
Meeting Point: Green Lake Boathouse in front of the café. 7351 East Green Lake Dr. N, Seattle, WA 98115. Café Hours: 8:00am to 7:00pm for snacks and beverages.
Trip Accessibility: 1 (leisurely pace), A (paved and level), ~ 2.8 miles walking total loop
Masks Optional, Please maintain social distancing
Most people know Green Lake as a place to run, walk your dog and go for a nice stroll in the city but did you know it’s also a rich and diverse “Urban Birding” habitat? Over 170 species of birds have been seen here.
The arrival of spring brings migratory species such as various Warblers, Ospreys, Flycatchers, Swallows, Rufous Hummingbirds and Western Tanagers as well as many other species that spend time here, all year long. All levels of birders are welcome from beginner and beyond as well as families. We will move at an easy pace navigating 2.8 miles of level terrain. Boots may be helpful as some spots can have puddles. Please leave dogs at home so our feathered friends won’t be scared off and dress appropriately for the weather. Binoculars are not necessary but will enhance the experience and can be rented or borrowed at Seattle Audubon Society. The Café where we meet outside is open 8 am to 5 pm, weather permitting. A small parking lot is available as well as street parking. Public transportation is encouraged. Bus stop and a bike rack are nearby. Trail is ADA accessible; all abilities and mobilities are welcome!
Restrooms are available at the nearby Green Lake Community Center Building 6:00am-9:30pm and at various locations along the trail.

Saturday May 28, 9:00-10:30am
Ballard Locks
Leader: John Leszczynski
Meeting Point: In front of the Ballard Locks Visitor Center. For those driving, note that there is paid parking on the Ballard side of the locks and free parking in a small lot in Commodore Park on the Magnolia side (south side).
Trip Accessibility: 1 (leisurely pace), B (mostly solid pavement but some steps and steep hills)
No masks required
The meeting of salt and fresh water at the Ballard Locks makes for an interesting mix of species, many of which can be observed at close range. We’ll also walk the gardens to see what species we can find.
Great walk for beginners, no experience required. If you can, bring binoculars (available on loan from the Seattle Audubon Nature Shop) for the best views and a chance for seeing some more distant birds.

Sunday May 29, 9:00–11:00am
Union Bay Natural Area
Leader: Julia Hansbrough
Meeting Point: Center for Urban Horticulture in the East parking lot off NE 41st Street, one block beyond the place where Mary Gates Memorial Drive turns left to become NE 41st Street.
Trip Accessibility: 1 (leisurely pace), B (mostly gravel trails, with
some soft ground or mud), ~1.5 miles walking
Masks are optional
Union Bay Natural Area, just east of the University of Washington, offers a range of habitats: wetland to forest to open fields. Likely birds this time of year include bald eagle, violet-green swallows, and savannah sparrows, and possible birds include osprey, purple martin, and Cooper’s hawk.

Sunday June 5, 8:30-10:30 am
Birds and Habitat – Along Arboretum Creek
Leader: Larry Hubbell
No Mask Requirements Meet Point: The Birch Parking Lot – on the east side of Lake Washington Blvd. This is the only parking lot that is north of the Japanese Garden and south of the Boyer Ave / Lake Washington Blvd intersection.
Trip Accessibility: 1 (leisurely pace), B (mostly gravel trails with some soft ground or mud)
No Mask Requirements
We walk north approximately 1.5 miles through the Arboretum, often next to or parallel with Arboretum Creek and end up near Duck Bay (south of Foster Island). We will be searching for birds and discussing their habitat choices for food, nesting and roosting. The trip will end around 10:30am near Duck Bay – which is about one mile north of the Birch Parking Lot. However, walking south, back to your vehicle, may take another 20-30 minutes depending on each individual’s motivation.

Thursday June 16, 10:00 am-noon
Magnuson Park
Leader: Jan Bragg (she/her)
Meeting Point: E-5 parking lot which is rented by Seattle Children’s. (On your left, past Sports Field Drive after entering Magnuson Park at NE 65th St entrance). Bus #62 or #75 stops at Sand Point Way x NE 65th St; from there, it is ~10 minute walk down entrance road to E-5.
Trip Accessibility: 1 (leisurely pace), C (hiking trails with gentle rolling hills), 2-3 miles walking
Masks Required for All
We will be walking uphill and down, looking and listening for forest birds. Then we will stroll through the wetlands, looking for water birds. This walk is suitable for any level of bird-watcher, including children (accompanied by adult). Bring binoculars, water, and a willingness to stop & listen.

Saturday June 25, 9:00–11:00am
Union Bay Natural Area
Leader: Julia Hansbrough
Meeting Point: Center for Urban Horticulture in the East parking lot off NE 41st Street, one block beyond the place where Mary Gates Memorial Drive turns left to become NE 41st Street.
Trip Accessibility: 1 (leisurely pace), B (mostly gravel trails, with
some soft ground or mud), ~1.5 miles walking
Masks are optional
Union Bay Natural Area, just east of the University of Washington, offers a range of habitats: wetland to forest to open fields. Likely birds this time of year include bald eagle, violet-green swallows, and savannah sparrows, and possible birds include osprey, purple martin, and Cooper’s hawk

Trip Accessibility Indicators

Trip Accessability Chart