Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A New Feathered Friend

Over the past week we have had some new visitors to the feeders: a small cluster of female grosbeaks.  We have never seen the males before, but this morning there was one sipping water very daintily from our trough.  The difference in appearance between the females and this male is quite startling.

The females are quite tiny, various shades of blah brown and beige and white, barely discernible from the sparrows we have in abundance. They have a pale cap of brown and white stripes.

This male however is much larger, nearly 3 times the size of the females,  beautiful black and white with yellow under his wings and a big red bib under his throat.  The males and females of this species don't even appear to be related, they are that different from each other.

This male seems to have strayed slightly from his usual habitat in the more forested areas of the province, which would explain why we have never seen such a bird here before our previous 4 years of residence.  

What a treat to see such a colourful bird pecking along the tree branches for small insects and buds.

May is such a great month for us to be able to see birds as they migrate through our region on their way to spring nesting grounds and summer feeding areas.  

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