Even if you come to Edmonds with alternate plans (admiring art or eating your way through the International District are popular options), you may be surprised at how much wildlife you come upon. And so, we invite you to build a few visits around birds, seals, whales, and more. 

Whether you wait patiently for sightings on one of the teal benches that dot Sunset Avenue or come to town for a formal event like Bird Fest, you’ll return home with stories of what you saw—and plans to come back soon. 

Binoculars looking at Edmonds MarshBird Watching In Edmonds

Undoubtedly, the most popular place for birdwatching is at the Edmonds Marsh. One of the few tidally-influenced saltwater estuaries (where a freshwater stream or river meets the ocean) remaining in the Puget Sound area, the marsh hosts up to 90 bird species each year. Want to challenge yourself to check them all off? Get the Birds of Edmonds, Washington checklist here—and start getting to work. 

Edmonds demonstration garden trailNearby at 95 Pine Street, you’ll find the Edmonds Wildlife Habitat & Native Plant Demonstration Garden. Visiting this demo garden will teach you how to make yours more wildlife-friendly. 

The 20th Annual Puget Sound Bird Fest

If you didn’t already have several reasons to explore Edmonds, add the 20th annual Puget Sound Bird Fest to your growing list. Running June 1st and 2nd, this popular event boasts presentations from local authors, artists, scientists, and naturalists; educational exhibits, optics, and bird-themed art for sale; kids’ activities including owl pellet dissection, crafts, games, and hands-on exploration; a photo contest; guided walks and viewing stations; a boat cruise; and a native plant sale.  

Add it to your calendar now—you officially have plans for the first weekend of June! 

Orcas and Puget Sound Express whale watching boat in EdmondsWhale Watching In Edmonds

Check out our article, Explore Edmonds by Boat, for a full rundown of ways to experience Edmonds by sea. In it, we nod to tours with Puget Sound Express, which departs from the Edmonds Marina February through October. If you have a specific type of whale you want to see, make sure you book for the dates you’re most likely to enjoy a sighting: grey whales are frequently seen in the late winter and early spring. Orcas are slightly more fair-weather. 

And, if you’re interested in taking a ferry ride to get to the Peninsula or just for funsies, don’t be surprised if you spot everyone’s favorite giant mammal from your WSDOT public vessel! You can’t miss them, especially because your captain will call them out over the loudspeaker. 

Harbor seals on the Edmonds waterfrontWhere To Spot Seals

If you walk along the water (and you should!), you may see a little head drifting across the water. Well, friend, you probably saw a harbor seal. If you’re lucky and you walk down to the fuel dock at the Edmonds Marina, you may see a whole pile of them napping right by the rock wall that leads boats into the Salish Sea. Please remember to move quietly and admire respectfully. 

More Marine Life

Want to dig deep and see what you can spot in Edmonds? Check out this guide to all the marine mammals you may see and consider making yourself a bingo card to check them off over multiple visits.

Show us what you see! Tag us in your social media posts (from a safe, respectful distance). We’re @exploreedmondswa on Instagram and Facebook, and we’ll send you all the hearts. 

P.S. If you want a free souvenir to remember how many different kinds of wildlife you spotted while you were here, stop by the Frances Anderson Center and pick up a Wildlife of Edmonds Poster that shows off the most common animals found in Edmonds' forest, marine, backyard, and marsh habitats. It includes birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and marine invertebrates!

Photos by Matt Hulbert, Orca and Harbor Seals by Janine Harles