Saturday, March 08, 2008

Grosbeaks: Not a Cheep Date

I saw my first evening grosbeak of the season this morning.  Hopefully I'll snag a pic of them tomorrow.  They tend to appear in flocks, and up here the birds that come to the feeder are mostly male.  I used to see very, very large flocks of them congregating on the OSU campus, where it became unpleasant to walk under the trees.  They're aggressive and unpleasant to each other and other birds, but I sure do love them.  If you want to attract evening grosbeaks you'll need a steady supply of sunflower seeds and a feeder large enough to accommodate them.  Patience is required.  It seems like one individual stumbles on the feeder during a migratory period and attracts the others by making happy sunflower seed noises over the course of a few days.  If they run out of sunflower seeds they move on.  It took several years running with a seed mix that had extra sunflower seeds in it before the happy accident occurred.  Since then I've tried to keep the feeder consistently full through winter and spring in the hopes that they'll learn to stop by earlier and stay longer.  If your neighbors already have them it won't be long before you have them as well.  They're voracious, so be warned.  If you want them around they'll make you pay and pay and pay.

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