Painted Bunting on Capitol Hill, Seattle

Eugene Hunn enhunn at
Sat Mar 2 16:37:40 PST 2002


While enjoying the Falcated Duck on the Samish flats this morning I chanced
to hear a rumor of a first state record Painted Bunting (immature male) that
has been seen regularly at a feeder on Capitol Hill in Seattle for over a
week. Those who were told of it chose not to divulge the fact, as the people
living in the house where the feeder is located were concerned about crowds.
In any case, we went down there and after standing around for an hour (on
city property just off the street) got absolutely wonderful looks at the
bird. We showed it to several neighbors who had not been aware of it, and
they told us that the viewing point was, in fact, city property, and that as
far as they were concerned observers were welcome (assuming, of course, that
they acted with the normal courtesy).

The location is on the corner of 17th E and E Garfield. The house with the
feeder (which is on a balcony on the north side of the house) is the last
house to the north on the east side of 17th. There is a patch of grass next
to the sidewalk just north of this house which is on a city street right of
way. East from this patch of grass is a steep slope beneath and just north
of the feeder on the balcony. The bunting fed contentedly on the ground here
on seed that had fallen from the feeder, in and out of patches of ivy on the
ground in an adjacent shrub beside the house.

Needless to say observers should be careful where they park, be quiet,
polite, explain what you are doing if approached by residents, and avoid
looking directly into people's windows.

It is a stunning bird and should be enjoyed by all.

Gene Hunn.

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