They just keep showing up! Yesterday I glanced out just after 3 p.m. and was startled to see another surprise on the doorstep. This one the bird books don't even show as belonging in Colorado. Hmmm.
An easy ID this time, no question. This bright male posed for more than a minute, then flew into the treetop, and soon disappeared. (For once, the camera was handy.) The dove looks as surprised as I was. Of course, I immediately made sure to restock the feeders with sunflower seed. Hope he returns soon.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is said to be common to eastern deciduous forests and orchards, and allegedly hybridizes with our Black-headed Grosbeaks (one male watched from the feeder while this guy visited). My older bird book* calls this bird a "rare straggler" who "has a propensity to wander far from its eastern range." One was collected in 1938 south of Denver, and they have been recorded breeding at Longmont, further north.
References online: Rose-breasted Grosbeak in Colorado, Auk (1938?); Habits, etc. Shawnee Audubon, Illinois, no date.
I'll update this post after checking with a local bird authority for more information, but I get the idea that sightings are more common here than in the past. Perhaps there's hope of seeing him again.
Welcome, stay as long as you like! But honey, you're not in Kansas anymore!
* Niedrach, Robert J. and Robert B. Rockwell. 1939. The Birds of Denver and the Mountain Parks. The Colorado Museum of Natural History, Popular Series No. 5.
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