Monday, May 11, 2009

Passin' thru

For those with bird feeders still up, keep an eye peeled for this handsome guy. This is the Rose breasted Grosbeak which winters in Central America, Venezuela, Peru and Mexico and passes thru our area on migration as they head north. The male is pretty unmistakable with his black hood and back, snow white breast with a bright rose red triangle and black and white wings. The female resembles a large brown sparrow with a white eye stripe.

The name "grosbeak" obviously refers to the large heavy beak used to crack seeds that are the birds main diet. There are six grosbeak species that make their home in the east.

The first photo shows well the avian ear which is a small opening directly behind the eye. Birds have exceptional hearing but lack the external ear (pinna) that we see in humans and most mammals.

3 comments:

polarnorth said...

how wonderful blog ! this also is my dream to travel around world and visit unique place ,see assorts of landscape and observe that natural fairies---birds.

KathyB. said...

The Rose Breasted Grosbeak is beautiful! We have the Evening and Black-Headed Grosbeaks at our feeders almost every day, and surprisingly all year round! They too are stunning in appearance and fun to watch!

Wish I could capture ours on film , your photographs are wonderful!

Farm Chick Paula said...

Beautiful! I was fortunate to photograph Grosbeaks a few years ago at the house we used to live in, but sadly, I haven't seen any at our new place. (Yet- I keep hoping!)
Once again- I enjoyed this post and your wonderful pictures so much!