Members of the Clear Creek Task Force, the Kitsap Audubon Society and Visit Kitsap were instrumental in compiling and designing a bird list and bird signs of Clear Creek's varied habitats. These six unique birding signs are distributed throughout the seven miles of trail and can be read below. A more comprehensive list of the Clear Creek Birds is available below.
For many bird species, the estuary of Clear Creek provides a feast. Mussels, clams, crustaceans, worms and other invertebrates can be picked from the sand and mud at low tides. Resident birds like the Bald Eagle, Glaucous-winged Gull, Great Blue Heron, and Greater Yellowlegs find Dyes Inlet to be a sanctuary and feeding ground.
Marine plants and invertebrates provide ample food for winter migrants like Barrow’s Goldeneye, White-winged Scoter, and American Widgeon. During summer months, Ospreys soar across Dyes Inlet hunting for fish. Photo credits: Phil Best; US Fish & Wildlife Service.
Bounded by Clear Creek on the west and by businesses and parking lots on the east, the tideland is an oasis for bird life in urban Silverdale. Trees, marshy thickets, lawns and Clear Creek itself provide food, shelter and nesting resources. Backyard birds like the seed- and berry-eating American Robin, Dark-eyed Junco, Steller’s Jay and Fox Sparrow are common along with smaller insect-eating birds like the Black-capped Chickadee and Chestnut-backed Chickadee. The shallow creek and mud flats provide feeding grounds for Killdeer and for winter migrants like Green-winged Teal. Photo credits: OR Dept. Fish & Wildlife; US Fish & Wildlife Service; Kelly McAllister, WA Dept. Fish & Wildlife.
The Ponds (located just north of All Star Lanes)
These storm water retention ponds are engineered habitats that have become integrated into the lives of our bird populations. Red-winged Blackbirds nest among the cattails while the Rufous Hummingbirds use cattail fluff for lining their nests. European Starlings and American Crows search for food along the boardwalk and Tree Swallows flit above the ponds catching insects. The ponds themselves attract Mallards, Bufflehead Ducks and Canada Geese. As the vegetation changes around the ponds, expect the bird life to change as well. Photo credits: OR Dept. Fish & Wildlife, US Fish & Wildlife Service.
Forested Wetlands (located up the hill from All Star Lanes)
Red Alders mix with an understory of salmonberry, skunk cabbage and ferns in this Douglas-fir, Western Red-cedar and Western Hemlock forest. The area is home to small Downy Woodpeckers and the larger Pileated Woodpecker as well as Northern Flickers. Smaller birds such as the Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper and Ruby-crowned Kinglet find the huge Douglas-firs to their liking while the Bewick's Wren hides in the understory. In spring and summer months Yellow-rumped Warblers can be heard and sometimes seen flitting in the tree canopy gleaning insects. Photo credits: Phil Best; WA Dept. Fish & Wildlife; US Fish & Wildlife Service.
Woods and Hedgerows (located in the north valley)
Red Alder woods open out into marshy fields bordered by hedgerows of cottonwood, willow and wet tolerant shrubs like Red-twigged Dogwood and Red Elderberry. The Black-headed Grosbeak, Western Tanager, Cedar Waxwing and Mourning Dove use the denser woods as shelter, foraying along field edges to feed on insects and berries. Along the hedgerows can be found White-crowned Sparrows, Willow Flycatchers, Common Yellow-throats and American Goldfinches. The American Goldfinch, the State Bird of Washington, uses thistle down for building its nest and feeds its young on thistle seeds. Photo credits: US Fish & Wildlife Service.
Fields and Meadows (located in the north valley)
Clear Creek Valley’s fields and meadows are ideal hunting grounds for a variety of hawks. The Northern Harrier and Red-tailed Hawk as well as the smaller Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks and the American Kestrel all find natural and man-made perches from which to hunt for mice and voles, frogs and snakes, and insects. Migrating Turkey Vultures soar over the open meadows searching for a meal. In the summer, Violet-green and Barn Swallows can be seen resting on the fence wires or swooping over the fields catching insects. Photo credits: Phil Best; Marv Breece, WA Ornithological Society; Brad Manchas, WA Dept. Fish & Wildlife; US Fish & Wildlife Service.
Clear Creek Bird Lists to download:
This pattern, Reforestation, is taken from a traditional Suquamish basket design