“Under a tall tree I will lie, and let the clouds go sailing by.” J.R.R. Tolkien
It’s always a delight in spring when the first rose-breasted grosbeaks arrive. Usually, a male or two will show up at the feeders first as was the case this year. Two males arrived one morning after their long journey from the tropics a week or so ago. They cautiously approached the feeder area, observing the other birds. At first, they seemed unsure as they tried to master the feeders. Easily scared away as other birds aggressively flew in to feed. By the afternoon though they were mixing it up with the other birds, bullying their way up to the feeder just like everyone else.
About a week later, we spotted one female. While not nearly as colorful, the females are attractive with their brown patterning. Our visitors seem to disappear after a week or two, moving on to wherever their preferred nesting areas are, usually further north. Although some local birders in recent years have seen them hang around into summer which indicates there must be a few nesting in our area. As of this afternoon, we were still seeing one male. The male’s song sounds similar to a robin. After their arrival in the spring, I often think I’m hearing a robin and then realize, no that’s the grosbeak.