Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

There is great satisfaction to be found in waking up in the morning to find the distant mountains surrounded by blue skies and the suns rays shining on everything as it rises for the day, especially when the past 10 days or so have been filled with mostly grey skies and rain.  It seems every living creature is experiencing the same contentment as I, because I've seen all kinds of wildlife roaming about, relishing the splendor of the day.

One of my favorite observations today has been of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak.  We have 3 males and 1 female hanging around the cabin and surrounding woods right now...I'm sure all 3 males are vying to win her attention and become her mate, but I haven't observed any of the courting behavior yet (click on the link above to learn more).  One of the things I really like about these birds is once paired, they are monogamous, and they share in nesting responsibilities (that's my kind of guy!).

The male easily identified by his red breast (you can even tell the males apart by looking closely at the details of the red coloring).  When he flies away, you see a little patch of red under his wings too.
They get the name grosbeak because of how thick their beaks are.

I find the female to be quite attractive even though she doesn't have the bright red splash of red on her breast...the brown and white markings are particularly striking, and she has a beautiful stripe above her eyes (reminds me of a woman's makeup and the things we do to make ourselves appear more attractive, only this particular girl-bird comes by it naturally).
I'm sharing this photo because of the bird in flight away (bottom right), I thought it was cool.

Both the male and female have a melodic song (click on the link to listen), which I heard before I knew they had returned for the spring and it caused me to search until I spotted the first male in the trees.  It's quite a distinctive sound, and I'm happy to say one that I recognize almost immediately (unlike many others).   

I'm looking forward to seeing which of the birds become a pair and then following them (once paired they stick together) to see if I can find their nest.  They say the nest is made of twigs and is quite loose, and sometimes you can see the eggs in it if you look up into the bottom of the nest.  I would be thrilled! 

Do you have Rose-breasted Grosbeaks?  Do you enjoy watching and listening to them?

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Dad/Pepere said...

Sorry to say I have not seen any Rose-breasted Grosbeaks in my area. My loss! Hugs!

Powell River Books said...

We do not have Red-breasted Grosbeaks, but amazingly we saw a Baltimore Oriole at our feeder yesterday. I looked it up on line and they aren't normally found in Washington State. He came twice, but didn't have my camera handy either time.

Thanks for the wonderful thoughts at my blog tribute for Mom. Things are settling down a bit, but it is still hard to believe. She seemed to just keep going over all obstacles. - Margy

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

I don't think I've ever seen them at my feeder.

See ya soon! We plan on arriving in Brasstown Saturday.

Lise said...

You'll have to come back to the cabin to see them dad! Hugs back!

I don't see Baltimore Oriole's here...and your welcome...your mom sounds like she was a fabulous woman, I can see how you will miss her.

Looking forward to meeting you in person Patti!