A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Exotic bird on the loose in Greenwood

May 7th, 2009 · Comments

We just got this email from Jason about an exotic bird on the loose in the neighborhood:

Living in Greenwood just got a bit weirder. I was mowing the front yard this morning when I spotted a tropical bird walk right past me, across the street, and into a neighbor’s yard. It is a beautiful bird with bright colors and about 3 feet in length.

I followed it in an attempt to catch it but those buggers are fast! I chased it all around my neighborhood (95th and 2nd in greenwood) with a garbage can in hand, but it flew into a backyard. After searching all over the suspected backyard (now three blocks away from my home) I was unable to catch it and eventually lost it.

Hopefully it has returned to the home it escaped from! If not, the owner can contact me: jsmith32@gmail.com for more info. Jason




  1. etta says:

    I hope we don’t see a photo snapped by Cooper the cat! Might be the last…

  2. liz says:

    Could it be from the zoo? perhaps from the pheasant exhibit over in the southwest corner of the zoo? (Cooper would like it.)

  3. Meg says:

    I would almost bet that’s from the zoo. Somebody should call them. If no one has, let me know and I can get in touch.

  4. pioggia says:

    Could also be someone’s pet. I’d call the Animal shelter. they might also give you better tips on catching handling the bird….

  5. Sasha says:

    That there’s a male Golden Pheasant, native to Asia. Given the restrictions on owning exotic animals, I’ll bet you anything it escaped from the Zoo.

  6. Meg says:

    The zoo claims it isn’t theirs…so hm. Hopefully someone catches it before a cat does. It probably isn’t equipped for living outdoors in Seattle.

    I used to do wildlife rehab and might be able to help corral it, but maybe PAWS would be able to instead?

  7. Kate B says:

    That “tropical bird” is a pheasant and will be fine. Catching a free bird with a garbage can. Wow. Once heard of some guys trying to catch a parakeet with a rake… Does it work on starlings or pigeons? Crows? Do you take a garbage can hunting turkeys and quail? This is a method I am not familiar with.
    Try calling animal control and call it an “escaped exotic”. Do not use the word “pheasant” or they will not come, say it looks injured and maybe can’t fly well. Or live with it as local color. Other than the nasty spurs on it’s legs it will use on your cats and small boys it is probably harmless.

  8. jason says:

    Jason here…while I was chasing it around greenwood, I called seattle animal control and they said I had to catch it first before they come get it. It does fly and is a fast runner. I came within a couple feet of trapping it in my trash can ‘cage’ but it flew off.

  9. Trix says:

    Animal control told you to catch it first? Aren’t they the experts on that?

  10. Matt says:

    Saw a sign for a lost bird on a telephone pole in the last week. I think it was on 94th and Fremont. Could be the same bird?

  11. Neighbor says:

    HAVE WE NOT LEARNED ANYTHING FROM LILY TOMLIN? This is a wild animal and deserves to be left wild, not caged or garbage-canned.

  12. Sarah says:

    I’ve chuckled my way through this blog post and comments thread.

    Thank you, Neighbor, for closing with “HAVE WE NOT LEARNED ANYTHING FROM LILY TOMLIN?” I think that’ll be my pat response to anything shocking from now on.

  13. etta says:

    Some blog cross-pollination in the P-I:

  14. B-Towner says:

    This is a Golden Chinese Pheasant and they’re quite peaceful. We have a similar male here in Burien that’s been visiting almost daily for over a year. He actually taps on my office window when he wants more wild bird seed, which we accommodate gladly. Most neighbors know him and walks the area freely. Great video of him here: http://literati.net/McAvoy/pearl-fess — I’m with Kate B, though. Let them be free and leave the trash cans for their main purpose. Enjoy the added color to our gray days.

  15. lYNN says:

    I thought I was going crazy! I saw that bird walkin up Holman Rd about 3weeks ago! Just walking along, minding his own business. Whew! Thanks for the vindication. My family thought I was nuts to.

  16. Gwynn says:

    There is someone who has a duck pond at around 90th and Wallingford. I can’t remember exactly where it is located, but I think I have seen this bird or a similar one in a pen there before.

  17. Vagrant says:

    Twitchy, skinny guy with beady eyes walking in circles?

    Just another Greenwood tweaker.

  18. There’s a chance this is the same male Chinese Golden Pheasant that made its home near Seahurst Park in Burien for quite a while – check out this post w/a clear pic:


    From what I understand, these things don’t really fly well, so how could this dude get from Burien to Greenwood?

    Oh wait, there’s the 509 -> 99 isn’t there…?

  19. green_wander says:

    I can not stop laughing as I picture a guy chasing a bird around with a garbage can in hand.

    And a bird strolling on the Viaduct?

    Thanks, neighbors. You have made my day!

  20. bobcat says:

    If i see that thing, it’s going on the grill.

  21. jezbian says:

    i saw the bird today! at 90th & 2nd when i was working in my friend’s yard – it crossed the street (on foot) from the park into his neighbour’s yard/empty lot. it was too quick for me to get a picture of it though.