This morning I missed the peeping calls of Evening Grosbeaks. It’s raining here, perhaps they’ll come around later; they don’t seem to get along well with their cousins, the Black-headed Grosbeaks…who are here in droves right now. They’re even up on the feeders very close to the house, which are usually dominated by the Evening bunch. Apparently, when they’re around…they’re the bosses.
Yesterday, while watching the Evening Grosbeaks feed just a foot or two from my nose, I noticed some of the males, perhaps the most dominant ones, occasionally raise the feathers on the tops of their heads. They looked like spiky, brown-headed punkers with oddly penciled yellow eyebrows. The normally smooth, yellow brows, when ruffed-up in a macho display, show as a row of single, yellow slashes above their eyes; a fairly significant ‘scary-face’ on a normally sweetly-behaved and congenial bird. I just love the beautiful blue-green their bills become during breeding season.
Also here is the single remaining Red-winged Blackbird. While several weeks ago the blackbirds were here nearly by the hundreds, they have mostly left; only the single male seems to remain. In their place, sadly, are literally dozens of Brown-headed Cowbirds. It is eerie to watch them fill up tens of feet of phone-wire over my yard, not really reminiscent of Hitchcock as some other brand of horror movie. I’m sorry, for as pretty a bird as a Cowbird is (and they are), in my mind they are just evil incarnate. Ugh, it galls me no end I have so many (40-50) hanging around my feeders.
On to a sweeter note, I also observed a tiny finch, the Lazuli Bunting here…as well as a male Lesser Goldfinch. This black-backed variety looked even slicker, due to the gentle drizzle that’s been falling all morning.
Yeah, another wonderful day in the neighborhood!
Photos from Wikipedia