These are not birds everyone gets to see in their backyard. In fact they don’t live everywhere and they can be quite scarce. We got lucky. They nest here. I’m sure it has something to do with the food. Our motto: “Feed them and they will come.” When the baby birds emerge from their eggs and take wing, often the first place they eat is our splintery old deck. We are home to many.

Isn’t that sweet? Okay, maybe it is a bit treacly, but you get the drift. Anyway, our Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks just pushed the fledglings out of the nest. We had a baby feeding with us today. I was trying to figure if it’s a boy or a girl. The general opinion is that if you see a flash of red on the breast, it’s a boy, but if it’s yellow, it’s a girl. Either way, they are brown and mottled on head and wings, but their form, size, and beak scream “Grosbeak!”

Still brown — nature’s all time favorite color — you can already see the interesting white patches on his wings and the beginning of his red breast

No two of them are exactly alike. The wing markings sometimes look like stars, occasionally resemble stripes, or rather amorphous polka-dots.

Of all the birds who come to visit us, this is the most unique and individual bird. They are rather shy. Very non-aggressive to other birds. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to enjoy them as often as I do. They aren’t nearly as common as they were even 10 years ago. After mating, they are monogamous. Both males and females share in feeding and caring for eggs and babies.

They nest in saplings along the edges of woods, so when we cut down the trees, they lose their nesting areas. There are about half as many now as there were in the in 2005. I’m glad we are able to give them a home here, at least for now.

Categories: #Birds, #gallery, #Photography, Ecology

Tags: , , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. Wow, what beautiful little chirpers! My local birds are too boring in London, so I post stuff from other parts of the world. Like New World Hummingbirds, ha ha!


  2. They feel safe in your yard and on your deck, or they wouldn’t be as abundant I’m thinking. I am truly sorry that more people aren’t invested in ‘green space” where the critters and birds live. But man is an obtuse, self-centered animal and some can’t see beyond tomorrow. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photographs!


    • Of all the reasons I continue to blog, the biggest is hoping to get people interested in the REST of the world, the non-humans. Birds and small creatures, even annoying creatures who make your lawn lumpy. I keep trying to remind them these creatures were here FIRST. YOU are the invader, not them. And just because there are wilder areas a distance away doesn’t mean your woodchuck who lives under the back hedge can get there and find a place to live and not die trying. These aren’t creatures who go for long walks. It’s frustrating, especially when you are sure the person to whom you’re speaking knows better. Everyone is very “big” on green, as long as it doesn’t ruin their lawn or garden. Everyone is willing to help until it becomes too inconvenient.

      We are a selfish bunch. Even when we mean well, we never mean well ENOUGH. Habitat destruction — including what we do on your own property — kills the creatures who live here. Yet, we can’t seem to stop ourselves. We know better and do it anyway.


  3. What lovely and interesting birds – thank you for sharing them with us 🙂


  4. They are beautiful!


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