Life Through Rose Colored Feathers

Greetings all! My apologies as it has been awhile since my last real post. I actually thought things would calm down after the stress of Halloween had finally passed, but alas, was not meant to be. I formally announced recently, but for those who missed it, I have finally decided to put the official cap on a relatively long career. Fortunately, still young in physical age – after 31.5 years in IT the mental strain is what starts to chip away at you. A mere 8 more mornings of getting up early, grabbing a bite to eat and opening the ol’ laptop for a day spent in the mesmerizing glow of a large international corporation. At this point, not sure who is more excited, me or my wife who will finally get to start enjoying here retirement which officially began at the beginning of the year.

Actually, the most excited should be you! This means more time in the field, more time to observe life and best of all, more time to spend “relaxing” in front of the keyboard producing posts. Trust me, there are times when I have spent 10+ hours on the work laptop and then had to come home and will myself to sit in front of another computer for more hours. Don’t get me wrong, this is a labor of love — there is just a limit to how many words one can produce on any given day. I can tell when this happens in my final post read-thrus – some can get overly cranky and guessing these days, none of us need more of that in our lives. Bear with me a few more weeks and we’ll get this blog thingy running smoothly. Until then, how about we take a look at Mrs. Grosbeak.

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak found on Brimfield Lot in May 2018

Our little lady comes to us from my backyard one rainy day in May 2018. Oh, that reminds me. The other big plus with the retirement plans – hoping to get caught up on my photo queue and start bringing you much fresher posts! (should probably stress the word “hoping” there – Linda’s honey-do list is currently longer than Santa’s naughty list.). Our specimen was hanging out in the drizzle keeping watch for any young males that might come strutting by. The Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks will show up here in late spring early summer timeframe and hang around for a month or so before they just seem to disappear.

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak found on Brimfield Lot in May 2018

Hit the jump to read a bit more about our local Rosies. Cornell didn’t list their actual migration timings so not sure if they are just late arrivals and early departures or they are just pretentious and dislike my seed offerings preferring more formal dining settings. In either case, I always enjoy their presence as they tend to brighten up the place. Well, mainly the males on that front. The females are adorned in browns and whites. This one even has a hint of rose blush on the breast – note, Cornell’s reference shots did not confirm this trait which led to initially think this was a juvi male which are more of a cross of the duller female and male, however, the reference shots show more male qualities than this one – clearly this is a female who might have slipped a bit putting on her lipstick. Will keep an eye out in the field and see if this is common or not – they may all just suck at putting lipstick on those beefy bills ha.

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak found on Brimfield Lot in May 2018

Eventually a male did decide to play the field. The white wing bar, the brown streaking around the white breast and that bold white eyebrow can lead to a fairly quick ID of the female. You will never have to spend time figuring out if you have a male Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. The black hood, the white belly and then the brilliant rose colored necklace are unmistakable. If you are more familiar with your standard backyard birds that thick bill is another giveaway if you can tear yourself away from looking at his necklace. Chuckling to myself, I always joke to myself that these males really have an all white breast and what is really happening is make-out lipstick transfer from the females – “‘dem male Grosbeaks be some players hehehe”.

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak found on Brimfield Lot in May 2018

Our male specimen was busy hamming it up for the ladies… and the camera – striking seductive poses to gain favor from the hotties. Looking for a female to take back across the Gulf of Mexico for wintering. Their songs are beautifully full of rising and falling sweetness that permeates throughout the woods. They say it is similar to a Robin’s, but I find it much more fuller and brighter than their Cheerios. Just a single picture left, so better mention a few tidbits to make the read worth your while. Hmmm, not much there to really highlight beyond they are crappy nest builders unless their chicks prefer to come out of their shells and be able to see straight through to the ground below – “Hi kids, welcome to the world.. oh and watch your step, we opted for the open floor plan”.

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak found on Brimfield Lot in May 2018

I hate to end with a sad story, but this year did bring a heartbreak with regards to this species. I was sitting at the kitchen table doing work one afternoon when these beauties made their first appearance in the area. So excited I texted my brothers to officially announce their arrival. If there is one bright spot with the pandemic it’s the fact I have been able to work near our large windows or on our porch allowing for much more awareness of the coming and goings of wildlife. About two hours after texting their arrival I hear a nasty thump. Heart immediately sank as I saw a brown and white mass drop past the window to the ground. One of the females had apparently seen its reflection and decided to challenge it. Ran out, made sure it was laying on its feet and comfortable. Find that if you do that you have about a 70% chance of them recovering. This one ended up in the 30% unlucky groupings. Flew all the way across the Gulf Coast, makes its way northward for several more states and then “wham” life ended. A gut wrench for what was a glorious day not two hours before. Eventually a few more females ended up making their way in the area so the males had mate opportunities. Sorry for the sad ending, but life isn’t always rosie.

16 thoughts on “Life Through Rose Colored Feathers”

  1. Congrats on joining the ranks B, after 2 weeks I can’t remember what day it is but who cares? All them years doing all that mental work is as bad as my time doing the manual sh*t, enjoy your freedom!
    Must say that male RBG is smart, even the females are pretty neat.
    Used to get birds hitting windows all the time in the old place, sad but you get used to it.
    Get your feet up lifes good!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks B! Everyone keeps telling me it is one of the best decisions you can make – I am looking forward to only knowing the day ends in a ‘Y’ ha. I always felt lucky to have the opportunity to sit for a living having spent a lot of my pre-career days on the manual side. Easier for sure but I don’t deny it can also take its toll (reason I play really hard). We happen to live in the woods and designed our house to make sure we could enjoy it to the fullest – translated – many windows. Eventually put the UV stickers on the main targets and that cut down on a lot of the impacts – there’s still the dumb ones ha.

      In a few more days I might not put the feet up, but for sure will get them into trail shoes a whole lot more! Thanks for dropping in B.

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  2. Congratulations to both you and Linda on your retirements. Life is out there to explore and you have so much time for fun ahead. Love you guys!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Joyce – definitely a big step for us, but looking forward to all the things we plan to do in this new phase in our lives -birding, traveling, more birding hehehe.

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    1. Appreciate it – more importantly I can finally keep up with all the great posts you’ve been putting up along with the other blogs I follow and struggle to keep up with!

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  3. Very nice photos of a cool bird! Also, retirement is not a time for personal birding, but rather for sitting in a comfy chair on your porch and calling ME, yes me, when a bird appears that is not on my bird list to date! No need to push yourself, you might sprain your back or something as can happen at retirement age. Just help me get my bird count nearer to yours. šŸ™‚

    Seriously, congratulations on your retirement!

    Ron

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wait a minute, wait a minute… I could sit in my comfy chair… or … wait for it … .hit the road, say somewhere down by the southern border.. possibly invite you to fly down for a few days and basically HAND YOU 40 new species of birds. Not to mention the fact that if I am ahead of you it is just barely now and you have all those cool Australian birds to hold over my head.

      Thanks for the well wishes on the retirement. Feels a bit surreal at the moment, but I am sure that will pass quickly when I manage to leave my work laptop closed for a couple of days.

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    1. Have you had the chance to look on Amazon or dare to go into a Barnes N Noble – the world already has plenty of good opportunities on the birding front – mine would just be killing trees.. corrected…a sapling and I don’t want that on my conscious heheh. Are we going to get a running photography how-to book in the not too distant future – now that I would read.

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      1. I could contribute a chapter, maybe two, but mostly on what NOT to do. I find photographing runners is like a blind squirrel looking for acorns: we both get a lucky find every now and again.

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      2. YES! How could I forget. When you’re retired you could publish that nature photography book I’ve been bugging you about for years, or rather a series of them! Not to mention a YouTube channel on making Halloween animatronics that I’ve been urging you to do for the last two years. I spend half my time pushing you to do things, and it’s exhausting…

        Ron

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  4. Sigh, there are only 24 little hours in a day and even then some of them are wasted on overrated sleep. If Linda would stop expecting me to do stuff I’d probably have enough cycles to get some of the suggested projects done. Okay, so which one of you is going to try and explain that to my wife….. anybody… anybody…

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