Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Da Boids

The evening grosbeaks were here in droves this morning, calling from the tree tops in that finchy way they have. I filled and hung the feeders and went about the business of opening the building for the day. Then I grabbed the camera and tried to get some pics.

Grosbeaks are not brave birds.

I took several shots through the windows, but they just don't come out well, y'know.

Aren't they just about the handsomest birds you've seen?

So I grabbed a cup of seed and went out on the deck, sprinkling seed on the railings. Of course, all the birds took off.

Chickadees and nuthatches are brave, though, so it was only a matter of a minute or two before they came back, bringing a few goldfinches with them. One little chickadee looks to be in pretty bad shape. It kind of reminds me of a chicken that's been picked on by the other chickens - henpecked.

I wonder if his feathers will protect him enough through these subzero days/nights we are having.

The grosbeaks, however, stayed in the trees. After ten minutes or so (I'm standing out there sans coat, hat, about 4*F), they drifted down to the lower branches, but just wouldn't come feed. They so obviously wanted all that seed I put out, but not one was brave enough to get it.

Finally, as I was getting ready to call it quits, a couple took the plunge, but only to the seed farthest away from me.

I still didn't get any really good shots, though. BUT! I'll accept this as a challenge.

I did finally get a couple fair photos of a white-breasted nuthatch, which has been on my list, so it wasn't a total loss.


  1. I think your grosbeak photo taken through the window looks just fine! Great, in fact. And that nuthatch looks so dear! I've never seen the white-breasted ones down here in Saratoga Springs.

    It's hard to believe that almost a full year has passed since we met through each others' blogs. I am so glad to have met you and to have shared adventures together, both through our blogs and also tramping and paddling together. Here's to another year of nature adventures! Happy New Year!

  2. I'll trade you 10 White Breasted Nuthatches for one evening grosbeaks! I have never ever seen an evening grosbeak and the nuthatch lives in my back yard year round. Location, location, location. Beautiful photos as always.

  3. Ah, so Evening Grosbeaks ARE around this area in winter! I live in the Glens Falls area and don't see them and now that I've been heavily birding this past year, I've been desiring to. Looks like I'm going to have to take a trip north on one of my next days off! :)

  4. The 1st grosbeak photo is SPECTACULAR!

  5. Lovely photos, especially the first of the grosbeak. I haven't seen any this year.

  6. Well, thanks, All, for your praises! :)

    Lindsey - are you Jackie's friend, with whom she goes birding? We've got plenty of grosbeaks here, so come on up! If you plan a trip to the VIC, keep in mind we are closed Sundays and Mondays. The birds may still be around in the woods, and hanging out in the trees around the building, but we won't have our feeders out.

  7. Ellen,
    We rarely have Evening Grosbeaks make it this far south [NE Norht Carolina]. The last outbreak year for us was in the mid 1990's. Even though we seldom are graced with them, when they do come they make their presence known in a big way. That winter we fed over 350 lbs. of black oil sunflower seeds to the ravenous hoard!
    Treebeard...SwampThings hubby

  8. Treebeard - the EGs can indeed make short work of the seed at a feeding station. One winter they took over at my house, and I was going through 40# of black oil in a week! This year, however, they have been Spartan at home. They hung out for a week or two and now seem to have moved on. Better for my wallet, but I do enjoy seeing them.