May 11, 2007

10-Bird Meme: No. 8, Black-headed grosbeak

Black-headed grosbeaks at feeder.Back when M. and I lived in Manitou Springs, I found a sick black-headed grosbeak sitting by the side of our road. I put it in an open-topped box on the patio with some birdseed and water, and I set the box up high where the cats would not find it. In the morning, it was gone. I did not even know exactly what kind of bird it was.

Now, together with broad-tailed hummingbirds, black-headed grosbeaks define the summer. They arrived last weekend, and they sing loudly from the tops of the pines like robins but, if anything louder. The once-feral cat who was too good at catching them has gone to the Happy Hunting Grounds, so the sunflower-seed feeder is not a danger zone anymore, unless a hawk happens by.

And in the late summer, the woods will be full of the begging calls of the young birds.

Also arriving this past week: plumbeous vireos and band-tailed pigeons.

Maybe this year I can complete the 10-Bird Meme. Meanwhile, for serious southeastern Colorado birding, visit SeEtta Moss's blog.

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