Samish Island

Burlington, Washington

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Samish Island and the surrounding area known as the Samish Flats are a paradise for raptor watchers. Bring together wide-open country, water-logged fields that draw hundreds of shorebirds, and a location close enough to Canada to draw species from the far north and you have the perfect formula for seeing Prairie Falcons, Peregrine Falcons, Bald Eagles, and even the occasional Gyrfalcon competing at the top of the food chain. It is all a matter of timing and luck. Habitats: Saltwater marsh, freshwater marsh, wetland, mixed forest. Specialty birds: Common Loon; Pelagic and Brandt’s Cormorants; Greater White-fronted Goose; Brant; Greater Scaup; Harlequin Duck; Barrow’s Goldeneye; Bald Eagle; Peregrine Falcon; Gyrfalcon; Black-bellied Plover; Solitary and Pectoral Sandpipers; Short-billed Dowitcher; Heerman’s, Bonaparte’s, Mew, Thayer’s, and Western Gulls; Common Murre; Pigeon Guillemot; Marbled Murrelet; Rhinoceros Auklet; Band-tailed Pigeon; Short-eared Owl; Vaux’s Swift; Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds.

Samish Island Professional Review and Guide

"Samish Island and the surrounding area known as the Samish Flats are a paradise for raptor watchers. Bring together wide-open country, water-logged fields that draw hundreds of shorebirds, and a location close enough to Canada to draw species from the far north and you have the perfect formula for seeing Prairie Falcons, Peregrine Falcons, Bald Eagles, and even the occasional Gyrfalcon competing at the top of the food chain. It is all a matter of timing and luck. Habitats: Saltwater marsh, freshwater marsh, wetland, mixed forest.

Specialty birds: Common Loon; Pelagic and Brandt’s Cormorants; Greater White-fronted Goose; Brant; Greater Scaup; Harlequin Duck; Barrow’s Goldeneye; Bald Eagle; Peregrine Falcon; Gyrfalcon; Black-bellied Plover; Solitary and Pectoral Sandpipers; Short-billed Dowitcher; Heerman’s, Bonaparte’s, Mew, Thayer’s, and Western Gulls; Common Murre; Pigeon Guillemot; Marbled Murrelet; Rhinoceros Auklet; Band-tailed Pigeon; Short-eared Owl; Vaux’s Swift; Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds."

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Burlington
Trail Type: Several options
Best Times: Year-round, but best in fall, winter, spring
Trailhead Elevation: 30 feet
Top Elevation: feet
Local Contacts: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Driving Directions: Directions to Samish Island

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May 2018