I've been feeding the birds, and attempting to be a "birder" for about 60 years. My Mom had feeders out when we moved down on Mill St when I was 13, so I count those years as well. Most of my early birding days were in SE Ohio.... probably all were until I went on a week-long field trip to the mountains of West Virginia with a college class.
It was on that trip that I saw my first Rose-breasted Grosbeak. I can close my eyes right now and picture where I was standing (close to Seneca Rocks) and still see that gorgeous bird. Where our farm is in SE Ohio I'd rarely (very rarely) get one at our feeder. The last few years when we've been here in the spring, we've had a male come to the feeder. When we're in Maine we often have a male come to the feeder there.
Yesterday we saw a strange bird near the feeder... I grabbed the binoculars to get a real close look...
Look at the size of that beak!
I knew what it (she!) was immediately, even though I'd never seen one before.
Yep! That's a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak. I should look through my photo files and show you the male, but I'm not going to... he's a real dandy, flashy colors, dashing.... debonair.... I'm going to let this lady show her own beauty.... and let y'all know she's the first female I've ever seen.
Now... for the 2nd first (sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it?)
I've seen more Indigo Buntings over the years than I'd ever be able to count. Hey... they're even one of the birds that I recognize their call. So what's special? This is the first Indigo Bunting that I've ever had come to my bird feeder. Actually, as I'm typing this, I glance outside and darned if he isn't chowing down right now. I was so taken with the colors of the Indigo bunting on the left and the male Goldfinch on the right... and not to be outdone...
Darned if a male cardinal came along to join them! There they are, folks! Primary Colors! Okay, so there's a little chipping sparrow on the right... everyone is welcome at my feeders.
There aren't many surprises in the way of birds for me in this part of Ohio these days, but I still get as excited to see and identify my little friends as I did way back then.
That's All For Today!