Although it is an urban campus in Seattle, the UW’s location on Lake Washington and proximity to the 230-acre Washington Park Arboretum and 74-acre Union Bay Natural Area invite a wide variety of birds to campus. The location of the UWROV club in the Oceanography Building, just feet away from Lake Union’s Portage Bay, gives members a prime viewing spot to watch native waterfowl, shown in the image at right.
A lone male Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) enjoys Drumheller Fountain.
A permanent flock of friendly Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) live on the UW campus.
Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) nest in the UW’s Sylvan Grove during the spring.
A Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) visits the UW campus during its migration.
Several Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) swim through the Montlake Cut, as photographed from campus.
This colorful drake is a Wood Duck (Aix sponsa), who makes his home in the wooded wetlands on the south side of the Montlake Cut but occasionally paddles over to campus.
A pair of Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens) (white, center) visit campus during the Winter.
Four Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator) begin foraging just after dawn in front of the iconic Husky Stadium.
A flock of Western Gulls (Larus occidentalis) graze next to the HUB. Rarely seen inland, the Westen Gull's presence seems out of place on a grass lawn, despite the HUB being only 3 1/2 miles from the Pacific Ocean.
A House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) perches on the vines covering the Oceanography Building. Originally native to the Southwest, these birds were sold in the early 20th century as Hollywood Finches and spread rapidly across the continent.
The Steller’s jay ( Cyanocitta stelleri), is among the loudest birds in Seattle’s suburbs, and frequents UW’s wooded campus. Blue feathers in birds are not pigmented, but rather caused by constructive interference of light, a phenomenon studied extensively by biologists and studied in connection to polymer research.
A California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica), perches in front of the Ocean Science Building. It is one of the two species known until 2016 as the Western Scrub-Jay. Corvid intelligence ranks on par with the non-human apes, and scrub jays in particular have shown evidence of possessing episodic-like memory.
An American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) eats a peanut.
The University of Washington’s Avian Conservation Laboratory is among the nation’s best. Crows are of particular interest due to their intelligence, and crow research at the University of Washington has yielded some potentially unusual and intriguing applications.
The University of Washington’s Bothell campus is also home to a nightly crow roost from fall to spring.