[Tweeters] Green Lake Sora is a feeder bird

tomboulian at comcast.net tomboulian at comcast.net
Sat Jan 9 21:49:16 PST 2021

The Sora currently being seen at Green Lake city park in Seattle is tame as a Sora can be—I think. Stopped by with my partner today for a picture since, well, when does one get a really good picture of any rail. Upon arriving at the most likely spot gleaned from e-bird sightings (directly east of Bongo’s/65th St) a man saw us approaching with our big camera and waved us over to see it. That simple; right next to the Green Lake Trail.
That man is Ed--the fellow who has been feeding peanut chips to wildlife here and at several other sites around Green Lake for years. Interesting fellow with recognition of many of the individual birds and people he interacts with. Indeed, the Sora appeared to recognize him and his whistle, if that’s possible. It repeatedly came within 8 feet or so of us, slowly and calmly with no fear; swimming etc. as others have reported, poking at greens and cattails in addition to nabbing up peanut pieces.
Ed told as may stories of birds and plants he’s encountered in the area, and though he’s no bird expert (he says he didn’t know what the thing was until a birder ID’d it), but “it’s been here since summer” He was interested to see pictures and hear on my phone of this bird and others he did not know (Fox Sparrow and Golden-crowned kinglet)
Two local residents stopped by and thanked him for helping their interests in both trees and birds of the park.
Although I’m sure its technically verboten to feed wild life in City parks (squirrels and a rat were also in this menagerie), this certainly is a great example of what a nature ambassador can look like. We gave him a few bucks for bird seed.

FYI if you are not familiar with Green Lake Park at this time, be advised that Covid rules require a counter-clockwise movement only around the extremely busy foot path (though you can easily come around the outer non-regulated trail and drop down at many points) Also, if you encounter Ed, he does not wear a mask. And although we parked without incident near the row of homeless person’s RV’s along Green Lake Drive, just know that this is here.

Mark Tomboulian
Shoreline WA
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