Wednesday, April 29, 2020

A Rosy Sunday Morning Thanks to Mr. Grosbeak

A casual Sunday morning, sheltering in place on the back porch, reading the newspaper and drinking coffee. Another picture-perfect spring day was unfolding.

Quickly, it got even better when this fancy fellow stopped by my all you can eat bird food buffet just 15 feet away from where I sat.

Knowing the time it can take to get through the Sunday paper I had my camera at my side. Glad of that I was!

I’m pretty sure I caught a glimpse of this bird a few days earlier. It was just a flash of different colors, a different pattern, that I didn’t recognize in a tree near my feeders. Striking colors I recall. Boy, I hope I see that bird again, I thought.

And here it was, he was as it were. The male Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a beautiful bird I had never seen before, much less had a chance to photograph.

Smoothly and quietly I raised my camera.

 The Grosbeak certainly saw me and thankfully didn’t mind eating away as I snapped picture after picture. The best shots are presented here.

He would leave but soon came back while I was still on the porch. And he would return for the next three or four days.

He took his time at the feeders. No ruffled feathers on this fine, poised fellow.

That morning I shared my new “lifer” bird encounter and images on various Facebook local, state and regional bird sites.  I took video too (above) and shared that on social media as well.

Several other birders around Charleston and the Carolinas said they too had Rose-breasted Grosbeaks in their yards. It’s seasonal migration time for this bird and many others returning to Northern locales, even as far away as Canada.

I was thrilled to have this striking bird stop by my house for a few days. Hopefully, he will spread the word about good eats in my North Charleston neighborhood (Coosaw Creek) and he and others (a "gross" of Grosbeaks as they are collectively called) will return in the future!

From I learned that "grosbeak" is from the French word "grosbec" and means "large beak." 

This is a wide-ranging bird. According to, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak "breeds from northeastern British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia to southern Alberta, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and New Jersey, and as far south as northern Georgia; regular visitor on the West Coast and winters from central into northern South America."  

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