Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Rose-breasted Grosbeak!!!

Just when you least expect it – something exciting shows up!  After just having endured, and still recovering from, what was hopefully the hottest weekend of the year (according to CTV news last night it was and we won’t have anymore like that)…I really was in no mood for birding….that was until I glanced out my kitchen window and saw this…

Rose-breasted Grosbeak - August 7, 2012Ro

a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak!!!

Rose-breasted Grosbeak and young Steller's Jay


The bird was at a platform feeder with this young Steller’s Jay….

there are a number of things that make this very interesting…

First of all, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks aren’t supposed to be on this side of the Rocky Mountains, but this is now the 3rd year in a row when I have had a male show up in my little tiny yard!

The first time was on August 11, 2010 and the bird stayed around for a week or so.  The next time was May 26, 2011 and the bird only stayed a couple of days – was it the same bird?  I don’t know!  Possibly it returned in August of 2011 but we weren’t here to see it if it did…now on August 7, 2012….I have one here again…

Rear - undeveloped tail and wings

The question now is….is this a really young bird???  look at the undeveloped tail and flight feathers….or is it an adult in a molt and if so, how did it fly all the way to the west coast from where it is supposed to be in the extreme north east corner of B.C., Alberta or points east?  I’m going to send these pictures to a few experts and see if I can get an answer.  I suppose it is possible that a female has been here, they are very similar to female Black-headed Grosbeaks and I could have missed seeing one, but does that mean that there is a possibility that they are actually breeding somewhere close by????  who knows…I’ve checked and I can’t see that anyone else has reported even seeing any recently…

Young Chickadee

While I was outside puzzling over the Grosbeak, another Black-capped Chickadee family showed up with the above youngster begging for food…that has to be a second hatch!

Should mention that shorebird migration is definitely under way…we spent this last very hot (38 degrees Celsius) weekend at our favorite lake.  It was far to hot to walk anywhere but I did a bit of kayaking and saw a number of Least Sandpipers and Yellowlegs – the Yellowlegs flew over so couldn’t tell if Lesser or Greater….also it appeared that all the adult Killdeer and Spotted Sandpipers had left, with only this years youngsters left behind.  Here at home, where I understand it was just as hot, the water levels are really dropping so maybe we’ll actually end up with some ‘shore’ before the shorebirds have all passed through.

No comments:

Post a Comment