Mount Rainier National Park
Mt. Rainier National Park is well-known as a birder’s paradise with 165 species of birds living within the park’s borders. Some of these birds are year-round residents while others make the park their home during certain seasons of the year. Among the most commonly viewed birds are Thrushes, Chickadees, Kinglets, Clark’s Nutcracker, Ptarmigan, Grouse, Steller’s and Gray Jays, Eagles, Grosbeaks and Finches.
The distribution of birds in the park can be broken into the life zones of the park, and is related to elevation. Near Ohanapecosh, below 3500 feet elevation, walk the Grove of the Patriarchs and Eastside Trail. Making their home in this area, are Gray and Steller’s Jays, Varied Thrush, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Townsend’s Solitaire, Western Tanager, Townsend’s Warblers, and Pine Siskin. Watch for American Dippers along the river. Also at a lower elevation, at Longmire, take the Trail of the Shadows watching for Band-tailed Pigeon and Red-breasted Sapsucker, as well as Vaux’s Swift, Clark’s Nutcracker, Red-winged Blackbird, Brown Creeper, Canadian Geese, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Varied Thrush and Mountain Bluebird.
Between 5000 and 6500 feet elevation of the park many birds make their home, especially in the summer. At Sunrise, short nature trails provide opportunities to view White-tailed Ptarmigan, Clark’s Nutcrackers, Gray Jays and Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches. Less common are Blue Grouse, Evening Grosbeaks, and Cooper’s Hawks. See Common Ravens nesting on cliffs near Burroughs Mountain and watch for Golden Eagles from high lookouts such as Emmons Vista and Mount Fremont Lookout. In August watch for soaring raptors, including Osprey. In the Paradise meadows, Rufous Hummingbirds are often seen buzzing about.
Find a checklist of birds inhabiting Mt. Rainier National Park.