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

Over the last week we’ve had a yard full of goldfinches and this morning they’re still abundant. I’ve seen them at all the feeders, they seem to like the shelled sunflowers and the patio mix and at times they’ve been quite numerous. Earlier this week I looked out the window and saw a couple of dozen at least, covering the feeders, the ground and even the chain holding the feeders on the tree. There are other birds around too, but not anywhere near the numbers of goldfinches. There are regular Black-capped Chickadees, Dark-eyed Juncos and Bewick’s Wrens. In the backyard I see Spotted Towhees and White-crowned Sparrows. There are also Golden-crowned Sparrows, both adults and juveniles that frequent the yard. Last week I spotted a Cooper’s Hawk on the fence, the first time I’d seen one for quite a long time. Last year we had them regularly around the yard catching rats. This year we’ve had a lot of rats, more than I’ve ever seen here, and no hawks. This seems odd to me because there’s a Cooper’s Hawk nest in the park behind our house and an easy supply of rats running around. They must have their reasons though.

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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of NATURE OBSCURA: A City’s Hidden Natural World from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, Popular Science, 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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