Painted Bunting

Scott Atkinson scottratkinson at
Mon Mar 11 19:22:10 PST 2002


I went to 17th Ave and E Garfield on n. Capitol Hill and relocated the male
PAINTED BUNTING this eve at about 4:45 pm. Interestingly, I would have
probably missed it but for a tip from a kind woman walking around the
neighborhood. I had waited on the sidewalk for a few minutes when she came
by, asking if I'd seen it and when I said no, she pointed out that I could
walk accross the small grass strip by-way to the edge of the house, thereby
being able to look into a ivy-laden gully off the backside of the house.
When I asked whether this was OK she said that the grass strip is property
of the city and is therefore legal. She advised that the bird seldom visits
the feeder and is more apt to be seen below the house along a foot path
there; feed has spilled here onto the ground next to ivy patches.

Sure enough, after five minutes the bird appeared, notably not visiting the
feeder. It stayed low in branches near the ivy, and was markedly
sluggish--in fact it sat on the same branch for a couple minutes. I found
myself thinking that, with all the exotic plantings, ivy and warm houses
around, this seems like about as good a place as any for this very unlikely
bird in our state. And wasn't there a Vancouver BC bird back in the 70s
that showed up in December to overwinter, in a similar residential
neighborhood setting?

If you plan to look please note that the feeder here is not readily
apparent--better to orient yourself toward the address--immediately east of
Volunteer Park, 17th Ave and E. Garfield, a 45-degree corner--and look for
the light-colored residence that is on the south(east) corner of that
45-degree corner. There are a range of other regular birds here, including

I was unable to find the other hot Seattle residential-area bird recently
reported, the Phainopepla in W. Seattle (the 2300 block of 46th SW), from

Scott Atkinson
Lake Stevens
email: scottratkinson at

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