EDITOR’S NOTE: Please welcome our newest columnist, Neil Ball, who will share photos and profiles of local birds that he’s seen and studied in our area.

By Neil Ball

You may not think of Burien as a birding mecca, but it is possible, with a little luck, to see just under half of the birds that you can find in Washington state. Granted some of those may be really hard to find, but anything is possible.

Take this week’s bird, the Barred Owl. Although some may classify it an invasive species, the Barred Owl has become a resident and helps keep some of the less desirable rodents in check. It likes the forests and can be seen around dawn and dusk perching in evergreen trees close to the trunk. If you cannot see them, you can often hear them at night with their “who-who-who cooks for you” call.

B-Town Birds: Meet the Barred Owl 1

Over the coming weeks, I will be sharing some of the birds you can find in local parks, in local neighborhoods or at our beaches. All you need is a good ear, a quick eye and the will to find things. Binoculars and a bird book will help as well, but the desire is the most important thing you need.

Until next week, happy birding!

Neil Ball was born in Kansas and came to the Puget Sound area when Boeing transferred his father here from Florida. He is a Highline High School alum who has lived in the south Puget Sound area since 1971 with a few breaks for his stint in the Navy and an overseas assignment from Boeing.

Birding became a hobby about 40 years ago. Since then, he has recorded seeing 595 of the 9712 species of birds in the world on his life list.

Clearly, he needs to get out more.