Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A bright new visitor!

photo from the Canadian government conservation websiteThe Huz and I love "our" birds. We have a big line of feeders outside (hence the regular visits from squirrels, and black bears in non-hibernating seasons -- see pictures here and here and here and here).

All the usual suspects come to the feeders daily (chickadees, titmice, goldfinches, nuthatches) and others a bit more sporadically (pine siskins, purple finches, sparrows, cardinals). In spring and fall we often get extended visits from rose-breasted grosbeaks, one of my favorite birds with their tuxedo plumage and red "bow tie". Other birds that come rarely and don't stay nearly long enough for our taste are evening grosbeaks and orioles.

But in the 15 years we've lived here, we've never seen a pine grosbeak before! The Huz spotted a couple of males, brightly noticeable against the white snow, under the feeders. While I was running for the Audubon bird identifying book, he called out that a female had landed. By the time I got to the window, seven or eight birds were there on the ground. Very exciting.

So of course I ran for my camera, but as soon as I stuck my head around the edge of a ground-floor window to take the picture, they all startled and took flight. And they didn't just fly to the trees at the edge of our yard. They completely disappeared! I am so bummed!

Here's hoping the lure of the seeds is stronger than the fear of the camera. We would love to have them stay for a season.

By the way, many of the links on this page go to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The articles there have pictures, and, even better, you can listen to recordings of the birdsong. Very cool.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Cool! I've never seen one of those. We have my old birdfeeder set up at work (I can't use it here at our condo) so I get to enjoy the birds all day at work and have turned several of the staff into bird watchers!