Thursday, February 18, 2010

Grosbeaks in my Backyard

I confess: I am easily entertained. Give me a chair, a view of my bird feeders, and a pair of binoculars and I'm good for hours.

This time of year the house finches and mourning doves dominate my seed feeders, along with the northern flickers that keep the suet feeders swinging. I lure my neighbor's American goldfinches over the fence with some thistle seed, but don't tell them.

So imagine my bliss this morning when I hear a flock of evening grosbeaks calling from the ponderosas around my house. I go back inside and scoop up some black sunflower seeds in hopes of luring these beautiful birds to my feeder.

Now imagine my disappointment when I hear the flock take to flight, their chatter fading as they leave the neighborhood. Damn.

A lull follows and that means back to work.

But that's OK. Maybe I'll work on an article about attracting back yard birds. Or perhaps one specific to this species whose "grosbeak" name doesn't indicate an ugly mug. No, the name means "large beak" and describes the stout bill of this Finch Family member.

So, I'll keep listening while I type for the grosbeak's call, and occasionally peer out the window. OK, so more frequently than occasionally, but after all, staring out the window is part of my work.

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