For the birds: Various sightings in West Seattle

The photo above is courtesy of WSB reader Dan, who spotted this seemingly rare bird in West Seattle yesterday in Endolyne (south of Fauntleroy, on Marine View Drive overlooking Puget Sound).

From Dan:

Saw a very unusual bird at our bird feeder yesterday. Got a picture of it and sent it to a lady the local Audubon said was an expert. She identified it as definitely not local in nature and probably someone’s pet that got out. Below is her e-mail answer (quite a coincidence that she happens to be in Aftrica now but reads her local e-mail daily).


Hi Dan,

Thanks for writing and sending the pictures. You’re right that that’s no goldfinch. It’s definitely not even a Pacific Northwest bird. In fact, since I am in Africa right now, I recognize it as a male Yellow-crowned Bishop. They are sometimes kept in captivity, so perhaps one has escaped. They are not migratory and it is highly unlikely one got from subsaharan Africa to the Seattle area on its own!

Hope this helps,


Also spotted in West Seattle: WSB’er Timothy says he “met these two lovelies on a walk along Lincoln Park beach this morning,” and he wondered if there was a “domesticated goose escape” of some kind?

SEPTEMBER 1 UPDATE: Many thanks to those readers who reminded us that these particular geese are “well-known residents” of that area. As noted by WSB’er Carolyn:

They are indeed domestic geese, however, they were born (May ’09) down by the ferry terminal, and have lived in the ‘wild’ all their lives. They are well cared for by the folks in the neighborhood. They are used to people and to being fed.

Mom (Goose) disappeared this year in April, after about a 16 year residence in the area.

Finally, just a reminder that our Pets section is bustling hub of activity for lost/found animals around the neighborhood. This past weekend, the handsome parrot Miya (photo below) found his way back home:

7 Replies to "For the birds: Various sightings in West Seattle"

  • Jasperblu August 30, 2010 (4:09 pm)

    Odd. Why would anyone keep an African weaver as a “pet”? And how did they obtain him? He sure is beautiful though! What a nice photo score (for this bird nerd it is anyway).

    As for the geese, they are often hanging out on the little beach next to the Fauntleroy ferry dock (north side). My daughter loves to visit them and bring bread for a “snack”.

    Always love the critter posts!

  • Noelle August 30, 2010 (5:23 pm)

    Those 2 big white geese LOVE to hang out by the ferry dock too. I see them quite often!

  • onceachef August 30, 2010 (6:15 pm)

    It’s beautiful…hope it survives!

  • Iggy August 30, 2010 (6:56 pm)

    Speaking of birds, I was at a friend’s house today at the 5000 block of 26th Southwest. There has been a stray rooster running up and down the block for the past few days. All the neighbors and animal control were contacted and no one knows what to do with it. It appears healthy and is not friendly. It’s black with rooster comb and crows quite a bit. Animal control refused to come and get it, but we are afraid it will die if left alone out there. If anyone is reading the blog who knows about roosters and how to catch them and wants to help, I’m sure the rooster would appreciate it. Don’t have a contact person, per se. It is the 5000 block of 26th Avenue near Juneau and Greg Davis Park. It’s been in the middle of the block on the east side of the street (even number houses) and hanging out it front and back yards and on the sidewalk.

  • iggy August 30, 2010 (7:12 pm)

    My friend just called. They think they found someone further down the street who owns the rooster. Another neighbor, who has chickens, lured the rooster into her yard (separate from the hens) until they can contact this other fellow. Best we can tell, there are about 6 or more houses in a few block area there with chickens. Irene

  • birdgeek August 31, 2010 (9:18 am)

    Oh WOW. Lucky! That yellow-crowned Bishop is amazing! If it keeps mooching around your yard, you might get a new pet out of it? Poor thing!

  • dawsonct September 4, 2010 (11:12 am)

    Had a similar experience a few years ago, but didn’t get a picture, so had to describe the thing to all of my birder friends and family to no success.
    Finally found it on the back page of my Sibley, the Yellow-Fronted Canary (Serinus mozambicus). Really cool bird.
    The book wouldn’t have helped in this case; I need to carry my camera more often.

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