Monday, August 5, 2013

Smart Birds

This is a male Black-headed Grosbeak.  I took the photo in April of 2010, back when we were still getting that stuff called 'rain.'  Haven't seen much of that lately, but I have seen lots of beautiful grosbeaks!

This is probably the missus of the pair.  They're pretty interesting birds, flying here early every spring from central Mexico.  They stay around all summer, raising their babies and providing visual treats for those of us lucky enough to see them.  They can live up to eleven years, and they're one of the few birds who can eat a Monarch butterfly and not die from the Monarch's toxins.  But, they only eat one every eight days!  I suppose they have figured out that they need to wait so they don't get a build-up of toxic stuff from the butterflies which might kill them.  Smart birds! 

They usually leave for their winter home around the middle of September, leaving me to eagerly anticipate their return the next spring.


  1. Fascinating! And such lovely looking birds. Are they of the finch family?
    They sort of resemble a finch, but perhaps are a little larger.

    I truly would LOVE to send you some of our rain, Victoria. Perhaps when it is falling again - should be sometime this evening - I'll send some thoughts to the clouds and ask them to scud on over your way :)

  2. such beautiful photos you've taken!
    Ive never seen one of these beauties,
    thank you for this.

  3. No, grosbeaks are of the family Cardinalidae, while finches are of the family Fringillidae. They are both of the same order though, Passeriformes. I found out this neat stuff from here

    a really interesting site.

    I hope your thoughts to the clouds work...thank you for them!

  4. Marfi, I'm glad you liked the photos're welcome! :)

  5. They are gorgeous !! Such wonderful colours.
    Have a magical day.

  6. Handsome birds! We have Rose -breasted Grosbeaks and occasionally see Evening Grosbeaks.


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