Monday, June 2, 2008

More New Neighbors

Yesterday afternoon while doing some landscaping in my backyard I found a new neighbor living in the back corner of our yard.

This Black-headed Grosbeak nest was actually quite easy to find, particularly when he was incubating. He couldn't shut up. He was singing the whole time he was on the nest and I could tell when he had taken incubation duties after the female was on the nest for a while because his singing was coming from one spot rather than all around they neighborhood. There is apparently still a bit of disagreement about his territory though. I watched what I assume was this male and another fighting near the nest. They had locked bills and were tumbling through the branches as they each tried to gain an advantage. Both were singing through the whole thing too.

This species has become much more common in the area over the last 20 years. I don't remember seeing many when I was younger but they are fairly abundant bird in the area now.


Julie Zickefoose said...

I wish someone would explain to me the adaptive value of male grosbeaks singing from the nest. Our rose-breasteds are reputed to do it, and blue-headed vireos are notorious for it. I always imagine their mates shushing them!

As always I love your pictures!

John Carlson said...

Thanks Julie. Ditto.

Beverly said...

Speaking of jelly-heads, I've discovered some Black-headed Grosbeaks love it too! I put Smucker's Grape out for the Orioles and found at least a couple BhG eating the stuff. But, only the Orioles and Tanagers eat mealworms. [sigh]...and I bought 4000 thinking how nutritious they'd be!

At one point I had more than a dozen BhG in the yard...but they've left for the most part. However, at least 3 dozen (THREE!) of the Evening Grosbeaks are here at any one time. They love both Black-oil and Safflower seeds...which I find lovely, as the Safflower discourages both the Red-wings/Grackles/Starlings and Doves, as well as the squirrels. :)

I've always noticed a few Evening Grosbeaks around, but this year there has been an explosion of the two I mentioned, as well as the Rose-breasted ones. I love it.

Yes, absolutely lovely pics! I learn so much reading your blog; thank you!!!

John Carlson said...

Sounds like a great grosbeak spring for you Beverly. We haven't had Evening Grosbeaks here for a long time. We used to get Pine Grosbeaks occasionally as well but not for a while. I need to get some safflower because the grackles drive me nuts too. Glad you like the photos and such.