PAINTED BUNTING seen again in lovely seattle

Deborah Wisti-Peterson nyneve at
Tue Mar 19 12:53:13 PST 2002

hello tweets,

short story: the painted bunting appeared in his usual place today
1110-1115am, and gave good views to me and neil zimmerman.

long story (i know you all really want to read this, haha): because
this is final exam week at the UW where i teach, and because almost all
of my grading is done (thank gawd), i managed to slip away for a 2.5
hours to find the painted bunting. i ran into fellow tweeter, mark
houston, after i arrived and almost immediately, i caught a glimpse of
dark red as the painted bunting flew into the ivy coating a post (this
post supports the house's deck). since i hadn't really SEEN and enjoyed
the bird yet, i just had to stick around to experience the full magic of
adding another bird to my life list.

as mark and i waited for another glimpse of the bunting, we were
joined by fellow tweeter, neil zimmerman, and all three of us stood
freezing in the cold breeze, watching birds. mark houston finally left
to chase after the falcated teal (i told him that i missed the teal
AND the yellow-billed loon this past sunday, even though i was up
there all day looking, sigh!).

i finally got permission to sit on a slab of concrete next to the
garbage cans that perch upon the top of the hill overlooking the
patch of ground that the bunting was reported to feed upon. a greedy
flicker and a flock of english sparrows helped by throwing more seeds
from the feeder that is directly above the area where the bunting
traditionally feeds.

finally, the evil black-and-white cat who sits at the base of the
feeder left the area and immediately, a flock of juncos arrived, as did
the bunting. the entire group fed on spilled seeds for about five
minutes before leaving again. from my vantage point about 20 feet away,
i was able to get great views of the bird, which is really a stunning
creature. i noticed that the eye ring is much brighter orange than it
appears in any photos or paintings i've seen of this species. i also saw
the yellow feathers on the breast that other tweeters have described
previously. really, it appears to me that these feathers might have been
lost (accident? fight?) after the original red-orange breast feathers
grew in, leaving the replacement feathers to grow in yellow rather than
the typical red-orange, for whatever reason.

another interesting bird appeared at the same time as the bunting. this
bird was an unusual (for these parts) junco subspecies. since i was
focused intensely upon the bunting, i didn't spend the time necessary to
get a good description fixed into my head, however, this bird was probably
a "slate colored" junco but my recollection was that it was a "pink sided"
junco. since i pointed this bird out to neil, he may have looked
more closely at it and may recall better than i. neil? has anyone else
seen this "odd" junco?


Deborah Wisti-Peterson, PhD Candidate nyneve at
Department of Zoology, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash, USA
Visit me on the web:
Love the creator? Then protect the creation.

More information about the Tweeters mailing list