We still have a few weeks left of peak spring migration, so this list is not inclusive (I hope not anyway), but the feeder has been active recently with the following birds: rose-breasted grosbeak (male and female); chipping sparrow; goldfinch; gray catbird; blue jay; cardinal (male and female); indigo bunting (first spring male); red-bellied woodpecker; white-breasted nuthatch; tufted titmouse; black-capped chickadee; downy woodpecker; hairy woodpecker; mourning dove; house finch; ruby-throated hummingbird (male and female); wild turkey; and probably one or two more that aren’t coming to mind at the moment. I bought a new oriole feeder, but no luck yet with that one. What’s been visiting your feeders? Feel free to comment with your list.
I’ve also seen them at suet feeders, so those of us who feed birds into the summer (or year-round) can attract them with a variety of foods. Many people stop feeding birds in the spring. I don’t blame those who have bears to worry about, but those who stop feeding birds once the winter ends miss out on birds such as rose-breasted grosbeaks.
Above is a shot of the female at the feeder. Check out the sizable bill on her. Below is the male and female. Not a great shot, I know, but interesting to see them together. Another female was at the feeder seconds before this shot, but the female shown chased her away.
Thanks for playing along with my latest birding quiz posted yesterday.
Here’s the answer … it’s a
female Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
I told you it looked nothing like its male counterpart (in color anyway).
I also suggested you look at the “bulky bill,” or in this case its “grosbeak.”
Many field guides show only the male in breeding plumage, therefore making the identification of females or nonbreeding birds nearly impossible. Get a good field guide that shows all the various plumages of birds.
Below is the male Rose-breasted Grosbeak striking a similar pose. Quite a difference, huh. Good example of sexual dimorphism (when males and female have different physical characteristics.)