Thursday, August 3, 2006

Black-headed Grosbeak

He is sitting there on top of the suet feeder - I am not much of a photographer; this guy deserves the best - he has a lovely voice and always sings a few notes when he arrives (to let me know he's here I think). His song reminds me of a poem, " a golden bell hung in my heart." It doesn't hurt that he is also a magnificent beauty. His mate has a lovely warble also, which I understand is common among the finches. She is not quite so brilliantly colored, her breast being more of a pastel shade of his bright tequila sunrise. His back is black with very bold white stripes and hers is more brown, sparrow colored, but she does have a very strong white stripe on her head. They are both about the size of a robin.

When I first saw this bird, I thought someone's parrot had escaped. Both he and his mate are somewhat elusive. While the nuthatches, chickadees, and woodpeckers don't seem to mind me being around, this bird prefers that I either stay very still or not come outside at all. They do not like sudden movements or noise. Still, I considered myself lucky to inch the screen door open and get this picture before he flew off. I lived here nearly two years before the Grosbeaks got bold enough to visit the bird feeders. Now I see them nearly every day. They are often the first birds in the very early morning and the last in the evening, with an occasional fly-by during the day to pluck a tasty morsel.

Why would anyone ever put a bird in a cage? It seems insanely cruel.

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