Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak!!!

There was a ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK at my bird feeder today! Why am I shouting, you ask? It's the first time I've seen one since I moved to North Carolina nearly 10 years ago, that's why! I looked in my bird book, and he really shouldn't be here - the range for these lovely birds extends from the western-most part of North Carolina, in the mountains, and northward. I don't know if he will stay here, or not. I'd be inclined to say he's just visiting on his way to parts northerly, but it IS the middle of April, so shouldn't he be getting ready to hatch some babies?

Could be that spring is later up north and that he was just taking a break from migrating to his spring home. That's fine with me! I was delighted to see him at the feeder, and would welcome him for however long he'd like to stay. If the missus would like to join him, and they'd like to raise a family nearby, that would be lovely!

Another fun discovery we've made recently was that the blue jays in our yard! I haven't seen them come to the feeder yet, even though I bought one especially for them, but we see them quite often in the trees, and that's enough. I know blue jays can be mean, but they are a little touch of Michigan for me and I like them.

A few weeks ago, I heard a bird song that's been driving me nuts in attempting to identify it. It starts with a lower tone, then a high trill. It reminds me of someone trying to say "tant pis!" which means "too bad" in French. While I was out walking the dog, I heard the song in my neighbor's tree, just above my head. I got a good look at the bird, and went back to the house to pull out my bird book, and voila - I learned that it was an Eastern Towhee.

I love birds. Well, the outdoor kind, that is. I don't want one in the house. I hated my grandmother's zebra finches and am not sorry they are no longer with us, the noisy little beasts. We have a nice setup for our feeders, so that we can see them from our kitchen window while we're sitting at the table. We have a pretty good variety, too, and everyone in the family likes to look at them. Do you like to watch birds at your house too?

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