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Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Sunflower Lovers

These are going to be dead easy for you, but they are tremendously exciting for me. This is because, when I go to Oregon, the local birds usually say, “Not a bloody chance, mate” and fly into hiding. This time, though, many were quite willing to pose. Perhaps it was the lovely Goldener Oktober weather. Maybe they were taking pity because I’d quit smoking, or thought I only had months to live. I don’t know. Whatever the reason, I’ll go with it.

These delights were the first to show off. They were all over the abandoned meander at Avery Park, availing themselves of the sunflowers in the community garden.



I include this broad shot because of the bizarre sunflower with the chunk out of it in the bottom right – no idea what’s up with that. Anyway. Back to the birds. That sunflower the little one’s on seemed very popular. Here’s a crop so you can get a better look at our UFD extracting seeds.



This makes me want to find a house with a yard where I could grow things with seeds. There’s something very thrilling about watching small birds winkle their dinner out of old flowers. Lockwood and I stood there for some time watching them.



Of course, they were moving round so fast it was hard to get a good shot. They either had their heads buried, or were attempting to bury their heads, or were perched atop the seed head looking anywhere but at the camera, and they’d only hold a pose for an instant before they were off again. Busy little things. I quite like this image, though, and the close-cropped version gives you a nice close look at this gentlebird’s patterns. Not that you’re likely to need them. I’ve a feeling this isn’t a UFD any longer.



Vaguely artistic, isn’t it? The only real complaint I have about this camera is the over-enthusiastic noise reduction, which does odd things in enlargements, but for this image it actually made things look quite interesting. And it does great video, even if it does suffer occasional confusion about what it should be focusing on. Poor thing. It probably wasn’t fair to ask it to film tiny, fast-moving birds at high zoom. But it did well, and delivered you this nice video which will allow you to enjoy their feeding behaviors.

Aren’t they adorable? Don’t you just want to move in with them?

Can anyone tell me about their dark side? (Hint: you’ll find it on this very network. Bonus UFD cred to the first person who posts the link!)


  1. abear says

    Beat me to it. Like their close cousins the chestnut backed chickadee they are bold and reasonably easy to hand feed. Try peanuts, sunflower seeds or during summer when they are feeding their young or in winter offer some suet. Bonus points; they like venison fat as much as suet (processed fat).

    • Dana Hunter says

      Hee hee. That’s the one. You can imagine my glee when Stephanie posted that earlier this week. Evvvviiilll chickadees!

  2. Trebuchet says

    Chick-a-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee! Don’t you love the way they hang upside-down? We spent the last few days at our alternate location, where we got to watch them (the chestnut-backed variety, however) on our feeder and suet. Which reminds me, I’ve a UFD to send you. They’re going a little hungrier now because I to put the feeders away to protect them from the dagnab raccoons.

  3. rq says

    I feel like I’ve missed the party. :) And yes, I saw Stephanie’s post about meat-eating chickadees. Personally, just puts them that much closer to dinosaurs, and THAT makes them that much cooler.