Sunday, October 14, 2012

Close-up of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak

 It hardly seems like a month ago when I first saw a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.   I considered myself lucky to have seen the distant Rose-breasted Grosbeak perched on a treetop, as posted a few of weeks back.
That was then; this is now.  I got a really great look at this immature male at the "best little feeders in the west!" Where?  The Barrett's feeder, of course. It's the feeder that has brought us great looks at Evening Grosbeaks, Red Crossbills, the special White-crown Sparrow and now, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
This bird was much more tame than the Evening Grosbeaks that were dining with it. It tolerated me slowly moving closer and closer to get pictures.
I was really taken by its rich colors on the breast and the splash of red on the front edge of the wing, which by the way shows on the underwing. There really is no confusing this bird with a Purple Finch. Having actually seen one up close, I think I could spot this bird pretty easily in the future.  
From the side and back the small splashes of white on the tips of the feathers make it easy to recognize from the rear.  Not all birds are so identifiable as this from every angle.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak breeds as near to us as Nova Scotia, so that certainly increases the opportunity for us to get a few off-course travellers.   I checked Jared Clarke's rarity checklist (based on records), and it reports this is a very uncommon visitor to the province.  That certainly makes seeing two of these birds this year very special.  Is it possible that this could be the same bird spotted in Blackhead only two weeks ago? As the crow flies, the locations are not too far apart.
I was quite surprised by the size of this large finch, much bigger than I thought.  While its beak is quite large, certainly much larger than its Purple Finch cousin, it is not as crazy-big at the Evening Grosbeak's.
There are quite a few pictures included here today and even more on my camera.  I guess I did that out of an effort to hang on to the moment a little longer.  There is no doubt that the small woodland birds are rapidly leaving us. Most warblers are already gone.
We are in the midst of a flash and dash of vagrants, and then they, too, will all disappear. We will just have to turn our attention to ducks and gulls for enjoyment. 
This year, I have been able to look at the visiting birds more closely in an attempt to increase my carry-forward learning. Woodland birding season seem oh-so-short! Is it any wonder it takes years to develop birding skills? I just keep trying to "stack" new info on top of old info in an already-crowded brain. 
Now, let's see what else do I need to do to my garden to try to attract some of these great birds to my yard?

No comments:

Post a Comment