Whatcom Wildlife Area
Over 150 species of birds have been observed at the Tennant
Lake Wildlife Area. A bird
checklist is available at the Interpretive Center.
The most productive bird viewing spots include the boardwalk
loop trail, river access trail and tower. Bird watching
from the tower is best facilitated with the use of a spotting
scope. Special emphasis should be taken not to disturb
nesting birds. Walk quietly and avoid sudden movements.
The best bird-watching is in early morning since most
birds are most active from sunup to 9:00 a.m.
|Tennant Lake Wildlife Area is
home to over 150 species of birds.
The Great Blue Heron can be seen regularly throughout
the year around the edges of the lake hunting its favorite
meal of fish or frogs. The American Bittern, although
uncommon elsewhere in the Northwest, may be seen and
heard during the spring and summer in the willow and
sweet gale surrounding the boardwalk. The summer ducks
commonly seen in and around the lake are the Blue-winged
and Cinnamon Teal, Mallard and the colorful WoodDuck.
The winter complement of ducks (best before and after
hunting season) include: Wigeon, Shoveler, Ring-necked,
Scaup, Bufflehead and the diminutive Ruddy Duck. Clay
Pit Pond (access off Slater Road) is deeper than Tennant
Lake and therefore more productive of diving ducks.
The Red-tailed Hawk and Northern Harrier are common
all year and both nest within the park. Winter brings
the possibility of northern hawks and falcons and Peregrine
Falcons have been recently observed within park boundaries.
|A few of the
bird species found at Tennant Lake
The Barn Owl, Screech Owl and Great-Horned Owl are
present all year and also nest in the area. As with
hawks, winter may produce northern owls such as the
Short-eared Owl and Snowy Owl.
Mourning Doves are rare but present all year; this being
another species that may be hard to find elsewhere in
Flickers are especially numerous along wood edges in
winter. The tiny Downy Woodpecker is common all year
and the Hairy Woodpecker is present in the winter.
Three species of swallows are commonly seen in the
summer months (Barn, Tree and Violet-green) and all
raise young within the park. Tree Swallows appear first
in the spring and may be observed catching insects over
the lake in early February before dispersing throughout
Vocal flocks of Chickadees, Kinglets and Bushtits are
common in the deciduous woods and may be accompanied
by Warblers during the summer.
Birds typical of the marsh and best seen from the boardwalk
loop trail and overlook are the Marsh Wren, Virginia
Rail, Common Yellowthroat and Red-winged Blackbird.
The American Goldfinch is common in the summer with
small numbers remaining through the winter. The pale
Savannah Sparrow inhabits most open areas. Listen for
its reedy call in summer along the road in front of
the Interpretive Center. The darker Song and Fox Sparrows
reside in woods and wood edges. White-crowned Sparrows
are common along roadsides during winter.