Saturday, July 9, 2011

Blue Grosbeak - Female

I haven't had much time this week for anything except work and with afternoon thunderstorms almost everyday, outside activities were limited once I did get home. We really needed the rain however so I guess you have to take the bad with the good.

A very quick birding outing this morning before heading to work for a while. Skies would go from looking like the bottom was getting ready to fall out to sunshine and back. Not prime photo op's.

My birding friend and I became absorbed in watching a female Blue Grosbeak busy gathering nesting material. She seemed to have more blue than most of the females I have seen. As I know the Grosbeak's in the area have already nested once, we were curious about their nesting habits so I did a little searching this afternoon and was surprised at what I learned.

The Piedmont area of the Carolinas and Georgia have some of the greatest densities of nesting populations in North America. Their nest unfortunately often fall victim to being parasitised by Brown Headed Cowbirds. Guess that is why a pair hanging out in the area were paying close attention to the coming and going of the female Grosbeak today.

They average 3 to 5 eggs per clutch. Incubation period is 11-12 days and the young fledge in 9-10 days. Two nestings per season seem to be common. I will be curious to watch this area and see the outcome.


Woodduck said...

I've yet to see one...congratulations!

Paula said...

Their numbers seem to be much greater this year which has provided a great opportunity to watch and study them. I will keep my fingers crossed for you.