Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Hangers On

For years, I've been keeping records on migration dates of one of my favourite birds, the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. Among the last to arrive and the first to leave, they should have departed weeks ago for their winter vacations in the West Indies, Mexico or South America. Yet, they are still here! And so is the very hot and humid summer weather! My calendar tells me it's September and this morning the school bus picked up my neighbour's children for their first day back to school. But still, those grosbeaks are hanging around my feeders and the berries of my mountain ash tree. Not that I'm complaining, I love their company, but it does leave me a little puzzled. Is it simply too hot for them to leave my shady yard and wing southward? Anyway, I'm glad to have these hangers-on still hanging around and hope they stay a bit longer.

A female rose-breasted grosbeak feasting on mountain ash berries.

A male (left) Rose-breasted grosbeak and the female (right) using my feeders.

This summer I've enjoyed a larger than usual hummingbird population.

From a branch over my hives, this eastern phoebe flies down to nab my honey bees.

A chipmunk foraging for seeds under my new feeder.

A locust beetle adding a dash of style to a goldenrod flower.

An ambush bug (phymata) hangs on to the tongue of an unfortunate fly.


  1. We also have the Eastern Phoebe hanging around....they are usually out along the road on a power line...the bees forage out there.

  2. Lovely critters! I guess they'll fly south when the food disappears.
    Are you sure the first photo is a rose-breasted grosbeak? Not to be difficult, but it look more like a black-capped sparrow, or one of those crazy sparrows I get mixed up with all the time.

    1. Thanks for your always welcome comment, Jennifer. One bird I'm sure of is the rose-breasted grosbeak. The bird (quite a bit larger than any in the sparrow crowd) enjoying the mountain ash berries is definitely a female rose-breasted grosbeak. From years of watching them close at hand, I'd know that curious expression anywhere. Cheers for now, your blog fan, Florence.

    2. Fair enough! I'm your Bee fan, too! :-) I have a photo of a juvenile grosbeak, he looks half female, half male. I couldn't figure him out at all!
      I had to submit the photo to our local birders for help!

  3. My trailcam is intended for big game animals. I cannot find it for sure, but this might be it!

    1. Thanks for the link, Jennifer. A consideration for my 2016 budget.

  4. Greats set of pictures - would love to see the Grosbeak.

    Feel free to link up any bird post to Wild Bird Wednesday, which runs on my photoblog on (!) Wednesdays to Sundays - all birds welcome!

    cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne


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