Thursday, May 6, 2010

Stalking the Evening Grosbeak

I went to Hartwick Pines State Park in Grayling, MI a few weeks ago. The highlight of the park is the forest of virgin white pines. Another highlight FOR ME is also the visitors center where they have window bird feeders.

From 2010_04_16



So I go to the window and I see this bird sitting INSIDE the feeder. I must admit, I first thought it was dead and was ready to start crying in front of 100 other people that would recognize that there was a crazy bird lady in their midst.





Then, a glorious thing happened, she turned her head to look at me! No, this female Evening Grosbeak wasn't pretty (she had seed shells on her face and what looked like to be eye disease in her left eye.) But she was alive, I was happy! (And of course I start talking to her, and people in the visitor center have now confirmed I am a crazy bird lady!)






She flew down to the pond to clean herself - thank goodness! She isn't going to get a mate looking like that I don't think.





I just couldn't stop watching her. I kept thinking about whether she would survive with this eye disease. Would she find a mate? Would she keep herself clean and not leave seed shell remnants on her face anymore? I think she was getting ready to file a restraining order against me...






She wasn't as pretty as the other Evening Grosbeaks that came to feed on that day. But it was her who captured my heart.

37 comments:

JKoenig said...

She looked better in your last picture than in the first...She cleaned up pretty good. Lovely coloring to go with that greenish beak. I especially liked the last picture.

Thyra said...

How I understand you. I'm also talking to animals - and especially I would feel I had to talk to this poor little bird with the bad eye. I surely hope she will cope.

A special note for you:
We've just had a bird from North America here in DK. It sometimes happens. A Long-billed Dowitcher was staying up in Lille Vildmose , a nature reserve in North Jutland, where bird-watchers came every day to keep an eye on it. This morning something terrible happened, which of course happens every day out there, but this was a little special, for we lost this rare bird. The Dowitcher stood sleeping, and suddenly came a sparrow hawk quick as lightning. It all happened very fast. The bird- watchers were heart-broken.
Kind regards
Thyra

Dar said...

You sure have a warm heart for the sad looking little grosbeak. She probably just let her contacts slip. She sure cleaned up nicely. I Love a fine stand of pine.
Have a great day

Montanagirl said...

Terrific series! So glad she wasn't hurt (or worse). Nice narrative too.

itsJUSTme said...

Shelley... I think you have outdone yourself this time! Those pictures are amazing!!!

I love, love, love the top picture! I have that get that put on something. We'll talk, I'll email you!

The pictures of the grossbeak are so good, i have never seen pictures like that before. You are surely an amazing photographer! I never knew they had green beaks!

The Retired One said...

Oh, she is precious for sure!!! I can see why you were smitten with her...its okay to talk babytalk to birds you know...other birders will completely understand...hahaha :0}

holdingmoments said...

I think she's a beauty.
The shot of the seed covered beak is a great capture Shelley.
I hope she finds a mate too.

Sharon said...

Awww! She loved the attention you gave her. I love those birds.

Ms. ~K said...

She did look dead in the first photo! Thank you for following her and showing us a much improved Ms. Evening Grosbeak.
Great photos. I've been missing your posts,
~K

bennie and patsy said...

I enjoyed the adventure of the Grosbeak but the adventurer was the best.
Patsy

Sarah Knight said...

Hopefully she does well : )

Bird Girl said...

You made her look beautiful, Shelley! I have not seen an Evening Grosbeak since the early 1980s! How fortunate for you to see and photograph this gal! Hope you post some more!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

She is a pretty lady,maybe not as colorful as her male counterparts,but still pretty.
Blessings,Ruth
PS: I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who talks to birds.:)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh how pretty, Shelley.... I'm a 'fool-fool-fool' for birds also---and thinking of a dead bird can make me cry also!!!!

Our Grosbeaks (the Rose-breasted ones) were visiting our feeders when we left for the beach.. Hope they are still around when we get home.

We've had a great time at the beach... Too bad that it's almost over.

Hugs,
Betsy

Leedra said...

Only you would be considered the Grosbeak stalker. LOL!

Cathy Clementz said...

We don't have nearly the amount of evening grosbeaks that we use to have. It use to be a symphony of grosbeaks waking us in the a.m. Do you think she has an eye disease or just seed in her eye? The reason I'm asking is a couple of years ago, there was a very serious eye disease here that was affecting mainly birds who ate from tube feeders.

Steve said...

Great pictures and story. Love it.

Daisy said...

Very sweet pictures, Shelley. You have such a soft and kind heart for your feathered friends. I can see why this is the one who touched you.

Olde Tyme Marketplace said...

How precious! The restraing order made me laugh out loud! Don't you wish you knew what they were thinking in their little bird heads?
Thanks for the smiles,
Beth

Elaine said...

Oh, oh, a birdie restraining order to stop the birdie paparazzi....

KathyB. said...

Oh Shelley, this is a wonderful post you crazy bird lady!

The Birdlady said...

Aw, I think she's beautiful.

Jayne said...

She's beautiful just the same, and I'd be thrilled to see one, eye disease or not. :c)

Rural Rambler said...

Great pictures Shelley. I have never seen an Evening Grosbeak let alone a female. She is very pretty even though she is a messy eater :) Hope she beats the eye disease/infection. I can see you standing there with your camera just chatting away at her oblivious to anyone else around!

Nancy J Locke said...

Aw, how beautiful, Shell!!! You have such a beautiful soul.

We should friend each other on Facebook.

Hugs, JJ

The Early Birder said...

Another magical close encounter Shelley. FAB.

troutbirder said...

Good story Shelly. I think she will do just fine. :)

Janet Glaser said...

Fantastic pictures, clever story telling. What a fun day for you. You must have stalked her to get all those great shots. Love your sense of humor.

BirdingMaine said...

Beautiful photos of the Evening Grosbeak Shelley!

I am sure she will find a mate. We have a one legged Purple finch we lovingly call "Peg Leg" that seems healthy and it has found a mate. Also, we have a Northern Cardinal with a missing eye and the pair have been busy building a nest.

John

Posted From Home said...

Hi Shelley
Sweet little Grosbeak - she was looking better and better with each photo you took :-) Hope she is doing well.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Love that last shot, Shelley. You captured her good side. :)

You had me chuckling with the crazy bird lady comments. I'd have been doing the same things! LOL

Paula said...

Excellent series! Good to see and hear that she is doing well! Great photos!

dAwN said...

Great story and photos Shelley.
I thought the poor bird was stuck in that plastic feeder..hee hee.

HANNIBAL said...

GREAT STORY! WHO WOULDN'T STALK THAT GIRL! I'VE NEVER SEEN ONE! GREAT SHOTS SHELLEY! GLAD YOU ARE BACK IN SERVICE AGAIN!

Knatolee said...

Love that beak colour!

Mary said...

Some of the nicest people I know are crazy bird ladies, so I'm glad to know that you are one of them! What a lovely grosbeak...I've never seen one of those.

xiaopywsp said...

what an cuet bird