Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pine Grosbeaks in my Backyard!

The Pine Grosbeak is a bird that I  really only have seen at a distance. Their markings are distinct and make them easily distinguishable, except for the orange one that I posted last week.

This week I visited one of the best feeders in the St. John's area and much to my surprise there were Pine Grosbeaks. It was that cold, rainy, windy day with temps at 8 degrees c. My hands were cold and I couldn't get a clear shot no matter how hard I tried.

I must confess, I left there with a serious case of Pine Grosbeak envy.
 Yesterday, I got quite a nice surprise in my own yard. I looked up and there was a pair of Pine Grosbeaks feeding at my distant feeder. I took a few shots and moved closer. They were not bothered by my presence but for the 10 minutes that the sun peeped out yesterday, I was shooting into a back light.
 I decided to get my binoculars and just study them. Much to my surprise they moved to the feeder on my deck where my camera was within reach.  I began taking pictures and was very surprised that they didn't flinch. It was like a reaffirmation that the work that I have been doing in my yard is beginning to pay off. Very satisfied, I had a toast to my new yard bird.
This morning when getting coffee, I looked out the patio door and what should I see but yet another Pine Grosbeak. I kind of think this might be a juvenile. It sat in the pouring rain looking very much like a drenched Pine Grosbeak.
 I opened the patio screen and began taking pictures. Once again, this little bird was not bothered. It put on quite a show.
 It certainly had a bad case of wet, bed head! Yet, it was stunning in its own way.
 Then, this bird appeared at the feeder. Is it the same bird? I really don't think so. In fact, I think it might be a Purple Finch disguising itself as a Pine Grosbeak. When the bird is wet, it looks very different.

This is my favorite shot of the morning bird as it was shaking the water off. During the day, the adult pair dropped in briefly had a bite to eat and went on again. Will they return again?  I really hope so.

This female Pine Grosbeak photographed this morning is very likely the same bird that appeared yesterday afternoon. I make that call due to the bald spot that appears under the beak on both pictures of the females shown here. Is this a common characteristic of the female? I have never seen it on any picture before. Once again, I have questions that I cannot answer. Maybe this time next year, I will know more.

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