[CT Birds] More info about Blue Grosbeak

Comins, Patrick PCOMINS at audubon.org
Thu Jun 30 14:05:45 EDT 2016

We had the Blue Grosbeak in view for a few moments about 20 minutes ago.  It was alternating between the sycamore and cherry trees along the powerlines.  At one point it flew over to the water garden, but circled back and landed on the wire near the feed plot.   Dan Rottino, Bill Banks and Scott Kruitbosch had the bird with me.   When it isn't singing it tends to be hard to find, as he hangs out within the canopy of the trees.   Getting to know the song can greatly help in finding the bird.  It is similar to a House Finch or Purple Finch, but burrier and richer in tone, somewhat similar in tone to Orchard Oriole, Scarlet Tanager or Yellow-throated Vireo.

I first had the bird last evening, but didn't realize it.   As I was leaving I heard a song near the Coast Guard Strip and mentioned to Scott that I thought I had heard a Purple Finch.   When I arrived at about 7 AM this morning I heard the song quite loudly from the tree line and started thinking Blue Grosbeak.  I was able to find and photograph the immature male after about a ½ hour+ search.  Several birders converged and had no luck, but I heard it singing again as I was heading out to the store at lunchtime.  I suspect it will be easier to see as the afternoon wears on. The moral of the story, if the bird isn't singing it can be hard to find.

I put up a feeder temporarily near where it is hanging out and scattered some black oil and sunflower seed on the ground.     Hopefully he will find it.

Some photos can be found at the end of this album:

I'm not sure how late I'll be staying today and we do have to lock the gate when we're not here.  I should be here tomorrow morning (probably early, but definitely by around 9 AM).   We should be staying late tomorrow night, unless it rains and the fireworks are canceled.   I'm not sure how much it will be open over the weekend, as I can't be around.  If someone really wants to see the bird, email me off list about access.


Patrick M. Comins, Director of Bird Conservation, Audubon Connecticut
Phone: (203)405-9115  http://ct.audubon.org/
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