It’s migration time. The time to be especially vigilant to see birds not otherwise native in the dead of winter or height of summer as they travel through to more distant breeding grounds. It’s time also to welcome the return of breeding pairs to their nesting spots in your area.
I saw a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak at my feeder. Brown birds are easy to dismiss. There are so many. But this bird caught my eye. At first appearing similar to a female Red-wing Blackbird, she was not as sleek, and her eye strip was distinctive as was her thick bill.
The male Rose-breasted Grosbeak is distinctive in his black, white and rose plumage. There’s no mistaking him. But I haven’t spotted one at my feeder for a while.
The Scarlet Tanager that arrived early from Central America made news in Chicago recently when it was spotted near the parking lot at the Lincoln Park Zoo along Lake Michigan’s shoreline.
So, be on the lookout! Have your binoculars at the ready.