I had never encountered this species, but after spotting them this time, I've been seeing them all over the campus lately. The males are small with red heads and breasts and brown wings and tails. The females are all light brown and, though I did not get a picture, I found females as well as males that day. Each bird was about 4 to 5 inches tall and they were all relatively round rather than taller and more streamlined like the similar looking Pine Grosbeak. These birds were making odd warbling noises as they flitted around.
Picture taken by Olisavia Veliz, who accompanied me on this day and took a picture for me since my camera wasn't good enough to get this bird.
For more information on the habitat and vegetation of the Union Bay Natural area, please see the journal entry for April 12, 2012 in my written journal and, for information on the weather of the day this was found, please see the journal entry for April 19, 2012 (Union Bay Natural Area) here on iNaturalist. Queen Anne's Lace is another common sight on the open plain spots of the Union Bay Natural Area. It is always growing along with the prairie grass in the patches with no trees. These plants were all about 1 meter tall and none of them had flowered yet, as this species does not flower until July or August. All the individuals I observed were dried out and appeared dead, though I'm sure that will change as the year goes on. This species is also known as the wild carrot and its roots are edible while young.
For more information on the habitat, vegetation, and weather on the day this was found, please see the journal entry for May 8, 2012 in my written journal. An enormous clump of these mushrooms were found growing across the street from the Physics and Astronomy building on the UW campus in a patch of bark. There must have been at least a hundred individual mushrooms growing. The mushrooms ranged from very young (small with gills still covered by a veil) to very old (dried up looking). This particular mushroom I'm holding in the picture was middle aged and was about 3 to 4 inches tall. The defining feature of the mushrooms were their cracked caps.
A baby heron that, unfortunately, fell from the nest. It has a large hole in its stomach where the flies had gotten to it.
Eastern gray specimen found in the copse of trees near the chemistry buildings on the UW campus. Three of these squirrels were eating nuts under the trees and this one in particular took the bread we gave it eagerly. These squirrels are clearly very used to people, an important thing to note when out looking for them.
Solo hawk in probably a BL Maple tree directly off main path a Nisqually estuary. It sat intently in tree for a long period of time as many people observed it.
There were plenty of these stocky, nitrogen-fixing plants throughout the region. All of which exhibited buds but not flowers.
This plant was found off of a trail in Pack Forest. The triangular leaves surrounded a single stem leading to a group of white flowers at the top
Two canada geese were spotted off the boardwalk at the Nisqually estuary. They were walking on a grassy patch surrounded by various leaf-less trees.
Salmon berry typically is found in temperate regions. Though the berries weren't present during the time this photo was taken, their appearance is very similar to bunches of salmon eggs. The plant didn't have many leaves at the time, but did exhibit thorns on the branches and small pink flower buds. The 5 feet tall plant was surrounded by a nookta rose.