Walla Walla’s location along the Columbia and Touchet Rivers alongside the Blue Mountains creates a habitat that can support a variety of wildlife. Although 70% of the county has been cultivated for agriculture, the area still hosts 325 species of birds who have made Walla Walla their home for the spring and summer seasons.
In early spring, bird-watchers will be able to see a variety of species including Say’s Phoebes, Swallows and Sage Sparrows. As spring progresses through April and May, thousands more species such American Redstarts, Veerys, Yellow-breasted Chats, and Yellow Warblers can be observed concluding their long migration north from Central and South America.
The migrating season only lasts a few months, and as early as late June birds begin migrating south as marked by the Arctic shorebirds that pass through the area en route to their winter homes in South America.
McNary Wildlife Refuge is the best place to get a glimpse of many birds including Parasitic Jaegers and Common Terns, especially during the fall migration season. Other great places to see birds from June to September include Coppei Creek, Upper Dry Creek, Mill Creek and Blue Creek.
Another one of the best places for bird watching is at the Walla Walla River Delta. During the migrations, thousands of birds populate the delta and the area is already seeing some of the largest populations in state history.
There are several species of birds that remain in Walla Walla for the duration of the year, including several species of owls that nest in the area.