When I was a child, I used to get frustrated because the birds I saw didn't always look like the birds in my bird guide. I expected the birds to get in line and pose exactly they way they were in my book. Only larger reference guides can show a lot of different poses, and hardly anyone shows the birds from the back. I learned quickly that I would have to really study some birds from different angles in order to identify them.
--------Typically, when the grosbeaks migrate through our area, all the hummingbirds are gone. This year however, we have three of them lingering. It was 38 degrees when I snapped this little hummer, all puffed up and looking rather cold. While I'm always glad to see them, I wonder if I am encouraging them to stay. Should I simply remove the feeders so they will move on? I would welcome any advice.
We are delighted to have so many beautiful grosbeaks here for a while. Soon the females will join them and all too quickly they will be gone. We will miss them. But they will return in the spring, more colorful and brighter than ever.