What a visitor: Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Photo by Chris Bosak A Rose-breasted Grosbeak visits a homemade platform feeder in Danbury, Conn., on May 6, 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Rose-breasted Grosbeak visits a homemade platform feeder in Danbury, Conn., on May 5, 2016.

I had a feeling one would show up. And I had a feeling it would just love a homemade platform feeder from which to eat during its migration. Boy, when you’re right, you’re right. Usually when I wish for a specific scenario it never happens. This time, Bingo!

Sure enough, this morning (May 5) I was awakened by a small commotion at my window feeder. It was a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak trying to land on the narrow perch. Even without my glasses on I could tell what it was. How do you mistake a bird like that? It eventually figured out how to land on the small window feeder. I hoped he would get tired of the narrow perch and eventually find his way into the backyard where the real feeding station is. I made sure the homemade platform feeder had plenty of seeds.

Sure enough (again), about 11 o’clock there he was. Standing on the platform feeder eating seeds. Grosbeaks are like finches or cardinals in their eating habits in that they will perch and stay there to eat seed after seed. That is unlike birds such as chickadees, nuthatches and titmice, which grabs seeds and go. So with the grosbeak sitting there chowing down, it presented a nice, long photo opportunity.

I’ll write more about it in a later post, but for now, I wanted to get these photos out there.

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Here’s one more shot, for now:

Photo by Chris Bosak A Rose-breasted Grosbeak visits a homemade platform feeder in Danbury, Conn., on May 6, 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Rose-breasted Grosbeak visits a homemade platform feeder in Danbury, Conn., on May 5, 2016.

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A frosty morning at the feeding station

Photo by Chris Bosak An American Goldfinch eats Nyjer seeds from a frozen feeder during a frosty April 2016 morning in Danbury, Conn.

Photo by Chris Bosak
An American Goldfinch eats Nyjer seeds from a frozen feeder during a frosty April 2016 morning in Danbury, Conn.

For the second day in a row the unpredictable New England weather provided an opportunity to get an interesting photo at the bird feeding station. Monday it was snow. Tuesday it was ice. Here, an American Goldfinch visits the Nyjer feeder, undaunted by the ice and freezing temperatures. Notice that this male is transitioning into its breeding plumage. Below are a few more icy photos from Merganser Lake.

Photo by Chris Bosak Ice covers a daffodil bloom in Fairfield County on a chilly Tuesday morning.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Ice covers a daffodil bloom in Fairfield County on a chilly Tuesday morning.

Photo by Chris Bosak Ice covers the branches of a tree in Danbury, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Ice covers the branches of a tree in Danbury, Conn., April 2016.

Chickadee pair picks its spot

Photo by Chris Bosak A Black-capped Chickadee cleans out a hole for a home to raise a family in Danbury, Conn., 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Black-capped Chickadee cleans out a hole for a home to raise a family in Danbury, Conn., 2016.

I tacked onto the bottom of my last For the Birds column the need to keep some dead trees standing as these “snags” are vital for birds. They provide homes and food for birds and other wildlife.

The day after writing the column I took a walk to Little Merganser Lake. I didn’t notice it while walking to the lake, but on my way back I noticed two chickadees going back and forth to a skinny dead tree. I stopped and watched for quite a while.

The birds, of course, were clearing out a hole for the Continue reading

Merganser Lake: More on those Pine Warblers

Photo by Chris Bosak A Pine Warbler sits on a deck railing in New England this fall.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Pine Warbler sits on a deck railing in New England this fall.

I posted some photos last week of Pine Warblers that visited my feeders. It was a nice sighting because warblers typically do not visit feeders. If you do get lucky enough to have warblers visit your feeding station, it’s usually Pine Warblers in the fall. I was fortunate enough to have three visit this fall. To complement those photos, here are some more … Continue reading

Merganser Lake: A crisp fall walk


I stepped away from the feeders, which were bustling with the usual suspects, and took a quick walk to Little Merganser Lake. The birding activity was nothing to write home about, or write a blog post about for that matter, but the fall colors were pretty spectacular.

It was in the 30s this morning. The water in the birdbath was frozen. Later in the week it is supposed to be in the 70s. That’s New England for you.

(More photos below)

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