Monday, April 28, 2014

What is that Bird

We were sitting at the table when we noticed a black bird with a splotch of white on his back.  It was backlit by the sun so we weren't at all sure what it was.  I grabbed a quick photograph through the door.  Looking through the lens I realized we had just seen our first migrating Rose-breasted Grosbeak.  There was no mistaking that bill.

I went outside to watch the woods hoping the bird or one of his friends might come back.

 My reward came rather quickly.  Another lovely grosbeak wearing his best summer plumage.  These birds occasionally nest in the highest NC mountains, but for us they are merely traveling through our area during Spring and Fall Migration.  While they are lovely at all seasons, nothing compares to the bright rosy chests they sport during the Spring.  Their backs are a speckled black and white; the heads are black; and their front bodies purest white.

 He stared directly at me

 Then he looked away as he prepared to fly

The males will stay around for a week or so and then will be joined by the less colorful but still beautiful females.  After a few days the males will continue their journeys leaving the females behind again.  The females will leave after a week or so and we will not see any of them again until the Fall migration.

I had a lovely blogging break and took many day trips all over western NC with our mountain loving daughter.  The weather was perfect except for one rainy day.  That is expected to change for the worse tonight as we prepare for some severe storms.

Our thoughts go out to those in eastern NC affected by last Friday's severe weather and to those in Oklahoma and Arkansas over the weekend.  And to those in pain all over our planet.


troutbirder said...

Gorgeous photos of one of my favorite birds....:)

Louvregirl said...

Love (love!) the 'look' of his stare directly at you! I find moments like this one
Thank you :-)

Cheryl said...

Gorgeous bird.......and great to see such a stunning photograph.
Glad you had quality time with daughter.

Indeed.....watched BBC news this morning only to see the devastating weather in the USA.
My heart goes out to them.

Anonymous said...

Love seeing that Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Such a beautiful bird. They are not in range in any place I've ever lived, and yet, I have photographed them twice-- once in Port Townsend, WA and once here in Grass Valley. It was quite a sight. The Black-headed Grosbeaks arrived last week. Always a delight to have the migrators return.

Lise said...

Ah, the rose breasted grosbeak is a beauty. We have two pair around the cabin. I agree, the females are beautiful.

Glad you had a nice break. Let's hope those storms don't live up to the predictions!

Arkansas Patti said...

I have only seen one of those handsome birds here and I am sure he was just passing through.
Stay safe from the storms.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

What great photos! I see them here occasionally and they're always fun to spot in any season!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I think I would squeal so loudly at seeing one of them that they would never return; Gorgeous!!
So happy you had a nice visit with your daughter.
Take care and stay safe.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I am envious of those who see this bird all summer.

Vicki Lane said...

Great captures! We have several around just now -- for twenty some years we never saw any then about ten years ago, they became regular visitors.

KB said...

Gorgeous photos. Our books say that we occasionally have this species but I've never seen it, except on your blog!

The Bug said...

What a pretty bird! I had a cousin in the Hickory area post a picture of one she'd seen in her yard, & then one showed up on our Bird a Day calendar - and this is my THIRD sighting. Surely that means good luck, right?