Rose Breasted Grosbeaks

We keep a calendar with large writing spaces up on the wall to record the daily temperatures – low and high – and anything special that happens. Spring bird arrivals are that. The rose breasted grosbeaks were a day earlier than last year and the hummingbirds were a five days late.

female hummingbird on feeder
A favorite bird to feed is the Ruby Throat Hummingbird. Our first birds arrive in April. We put out quart sized feeders filled with sugar water from then until the last of them fly south in late October.

Over the years we’ve had a number of new birds move in and a few disappear. There is still a single whip-o-will that returns every April instead of the many who called all around us when we moved here. Mourning doves and blue jays are among the new ones.

Since the bird feeder is up year round and has been for almost thirty years, migrating birds seem to know about it. Last year a rusty blackbird stopped by one day. It is much larger than the other blackbirds and cowbirds who stay in the area. It was back again this year.

Indigo Bunting male on bird feeder
One of the summer visitors in the Ozarks is the Indigo Bunting. This seed eating bird likes open fields with lots of insects. They have moved into my area in the last few years and found the bird feeder to their liking. They enjoy the sunflower seeds and the suet cakes.

The red wing blackbirds live next door over the summer because of the cold water fen and cattails. One has discovered the feeder and comes by to snack.

Baltimore orioles stopped by one year to enjoy the hummingbird feeders. Cedar waxwings visit the various red cedars for a day or two.

A few years ago a single grosbeak stopped a day or two and flew on. he came back the next year. This year there are four males with several females stopping over for several days.

The mourning doves and blue jays began similarly. Then a few pairs stayed over the summer. The doves stay most of the year now.

Rose Breasted Grosbeaks on bird feeder
Rose Breasted Grosbeaks are large birds easily recognized. The males are black with a gray breast with a rose colored spot. Females are colored a lot like sparrows. Both have large beaks for crunching seeds. They show up for a few days on our feeder eating sunflower seeds and resting up before flying further north.

We are hoping the rose breasted grosbeaks will move in too. They are lovely birds and would be welcome additions to the cardinals, mourning doves, blue jays, titmice, Downey and red bellied woodpeckers and others we enjoy seeing daily.

If not, we will enjoy their visits each spring and fall.

Read more about nature in the Ozarks in “Exploring the Ozark Hills“.