LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Handsome Visitors

I saw him Friday morning. Just a brief glimpse through the trees. Could it be? Are they back for a brief visit? A few hours later, I saw him again. This time there was no doubt. The male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are passing through on their migration.

These birds do not live here in summer or winter. We see them only during spring and fall migrations and we love every minute they are here. What lovely birds.

The males always arrive first, followed in a week or two by the females. Both sexes remain for several days and then the males move on. Shortly thereafter, the females take off and we have no more until the next migration.


Here is my first real sighting:



He came to one of the feeders for a snack.

He stretches his neck to eat from the second tier opening.



Last fall, the males looked like this. They had their winter plumage by the time they passed by our house. In the spring photographs above, you will note they are more pristine, with clean white chests and the hallmark bright rosey triangles on their breasts.

The Rose-breasted Grosbeaks will remain with us for only a few weeks. Their arrival is much anticipated at our house and we envy those of you who see these birds all summer.

20 comments:

The Birdlady said...

Wonderful, beautiful - this iswithin a week of the time they were through here last year.....I'm watching.

Shellmo said...

They are one of the most beautiful birds! I love their clown beaks! Nice captures!

Nature Lovin' Super Mama said...

what a beautiful bird, I will keep my eye out up nawth here for them in a few weeks.

robin andrea said...

When we lived in Washington we had Black-headed Grosbeaks that spent their summers in our yard, at our feeders. I always loved their arrival, it meant summer had truly begun. One year, I photographed a bird I could hardly believe was at the feeder. It was a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, very very far from its range. Such a surprise and a what a beauty. I love seeing these photos and knowing they are on their journey.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Carolyn, They may not be migrating... At least ours are still here --and visiting my feeders all day long this week. Yesterday there were FOUR males at the feeders at one time. And I swa my first females. They look like a HUGE sparrow with a BIG white eyebrow. I'll try to remember to send you a picture t0 see if you can see the female also.

How long do they stay before migrating??? Do you know???? Ours have been here since Wednesday or before. Since we only got home Tues. night, I'm not sure when they first arrived.

Have a wonderful Sunday.
Hugs,
Betsy

TheWritersPorch said...

What a beauty! I don't think we have those here!

Cheryl said...

Absolutely beautiful.....I understand you looking forward this bird visiting.......We have nothing like that here.......he is a handsome chap......

Tina said...

Like you I only get a sneak peek, if I'm lucky. Last year we saw one for an afternoon...but oh he was gorgeous! I can see why you are thrilled to have them stop by!

Appalachian Lady said...

Thanks for this heads up. I will be looking for them in Virginia now. I love that rose color--don't know of any other bird that has that.

wncmountainliving said...

Have not seen any here but hope to! Lovely photos of a beautiful bird.

KB said...

Beautiful. We have Black Headed Grosbeaks that are somewhat similar but none of your gorgeous rose breasted ones.

Thanks for the great photos.

troutbirder said...

They are definitely one of our most handsome birds and you captured them perfectly. Its been a long time since I've seen them here unfortunately...

RuthieJ said...

I love these birds. We will have them all summer and they should be arriving soon. Thanks for the preview!

Cedar ... said...

Nice shots of the grosbeaks,... I'll be looking forward to hearing how long they hang around.

George said...

We've certainly been enjoying the grosbeaks at our house. It's a shame that they'll only be here for a short time -- they're beautiful.

Jayne said...

By the maps, they do breed in a small area of northwest GA, but like you, I generally only see them sporadically over a few weeks, and then maybe once or twice during the summer. I love it when they arrive. Yesterday, I saw my Summer Tanager for the first time this year. :c)

Dave's Bird Watching Blog said...

I'm hoping we'll see one this spring, too. Love those grosbeaks...that red-black combo sure is striking!

jayedized said...

I've been waiting!! OH MY! Don't you just love this bird?! Great photos! They don't stay long here when they come through (maybe three weeks.) THey're such a joy to see. We spotted a male at the feeder on May 1st last year, and so....waiting. I hope you'll get to see him again - great first sighting!

dAwN said...

The rose breasted came for a visit then left...boo hoo..
It is such a beautiful bird.

laurie said...

it's been years since i've seen one of these.
your pictures are wonderful. thank you.