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Birds of Colorado: The Stellar’s Jay
|| 12/30/2008 || 3:48 pm || Comments Off on Birds of Colorado: The Stellar’s Jay || ||

Today I am flying back to Washington, DC, so I am going to post some pictures of the birds I saw when I was in Colorado. This third and final photographic installment is the Stellar’s Jay. I saw this guy eating tourist’s food at the edge of Bear Lake. They are named after naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller and are probably one of my favorite alpine birds because of their beautiful blue feathers.

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Birds of Colorado: The Hairy Woodpecker
|| || 12:43 pm || Comments Off on Birds of Colorado: The Hairy Woodpecker || ||

Today I am flying back to Washington, DC, so I am going to post some pictures of the birds I saw when I was in Colorado. This second photographic installment is the Hairy Woodpecker. I saw this guy from the deck of the cabin. I believe I saw this same specie about three weeks ago in Washington, DC. It was tapping on the dead tree in the backyard of the house three doors down from where I live.

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Birds of Colorado: The Pine Siskin
|| || 11:34 am || Comments Off on Birds of Colorado: The Pine Siskin || ||

Today I am flying back to Washington, DC, so I am going to post some pictures of the birds I saw when I was in Colorado. This first photographic installment is the small finch known as the Pine Siskin. I saw these tiny finches constantly feeding on the deck of the cabin. They remind me of the common sparrow, except they have little yellow fellows and a brown & white spotted breast.

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A video of an American Goldfinch eating my sunflower’s seeds
|| 8/20/2008 || 7:43 am || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

An American Goldfinch eats my sunflower’s seeds from Nikolas Schiller on Vimeo

In May I received two sunflower seedlings from an exhibitor at Artomatic and I decided to plant them alongside two tomato plants in a large plastic pot on my third floor deck. After diligently feeding them about 5 quarts of water each day, they bloomed in mid-July. A few years back I harvested the seeds from a sunflower plant too prematurely and ended up with partially matured seeds that were unusable. This year I decided to not cut of the heads of the plants to ensure that the seeds would mature and could be used for next year’s planting.

Last week on Thursday, August 14, my 3rd floor deck was visited by a curious guest who announced that it was time to harvest the seeds. I had seen an American Goldfinch before, but in the 4 years years that I’ve lived in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC, this was my first sighting. I found that his coloring matched the sunflowers perfectly and made me wonder if the specie obtained its yellow coloring generations ago by feeding on sunflowers?

After noticing him return to the plant a second time, I decided to place a camera on a ladder, hit record, go inside, and remotely film him eating my sunflower’s seeds. It’s a no-frills video, just the wildlife of Washington, DC. At about 6:20 there is the obligatory police siren that one can never seem to escape from in this city. At about 9:15 a Mocking Bird swoops down and attacks the American Goldfinch. You can see the Mocking Bird follow the American Goldfinch in the lower corner about a second later, but the American Goldfinch returns and continues to eat for a few more minutes.

The day after recording this video I decided to cut the heads of the sunflowers and harvest the seeds, but due to the mess recently left on the deck, he’s been back with a hearty appetite and has eaten a few more of the smaller heads. No biggy. I hope he comes back next year.


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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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