365 Nature – Day 276

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


In past years I’ve planted sunflowers and watched Black-capped Chickadees and American Goldfinches feeding on the seeds. This year I had large patches of rudbeckia flowers growing which attracted many pollinators during the summer as well as the predators such as crab spiders. I knew rudbeckia were good for pollinators, but I didn’t realize they were also good for birds. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve watched one patch of rudbeckia attract many goldfinches, although the other patch seems to attract none at all. Some times when I look out, there are a good dozen goldfinches on the seed heads. Today I watched them foraging for seeds and like they do at the feeder, they fight when another gets too close. As the flowers are growing in a tight cluster, these disputes happen with some frequency.

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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of a book about urban nature, coming Spring 2020 from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, ParentMap, National Wildlife Magazine and others. On the side she writes fiction.

Kelly holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.

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