Last week, I took this photo of a male Blue Grosbeak at Pungo Lake, NC. Mr. B and I had taken a drive to the lake in search of bears for me to photograph. It really wasn’t a great day for finding a bear and I knew that going in, but you never know. BTW, I saw one – a long distance from me so not able to get a photo. Now, back to this Blue Grosbeak. We were riding the roads hoping to see a bear and noticed a lot of birds flying over a field of corn. They were singing a flitting about and this one caught my eye so I snapped a few photos and we drove on. I was shooting into the light and really could not see what kind of bird it was. Imagine my delight, when I got home and looked at the photos. The photo was very dark but as I lightened it in Lightroom and brought out the shadows, I realized it was blue. I also realized that I had never seen this bird before.
I did some research and finally found it on the What Bird website and then on the All About Birds website. Below are some interesting facts from the All About Birds website:
Some interesting facts from the All About Birds website:
- According to genetic evidence, the Lazuli Bunting is the Blue Grosbeak’s closest relative.
- In the southern part of the Blue Grosbeak’s breeding range, each mated pair may raise two broods of nestlings per year.
- Many Blue Grosbeaks migrate directly southward from their breeding areas to their wintering grounds. Western birds head over land and eastern birds cross the Gulf of Mexico. Migrating grosbeaks pass through the Caribbean Islands including Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Antilles, the Swan Islands, the Cayman Islands, and the Virgin Islands.
- Blue Grosbeaks breed along roads and open areas, building their nests low in small trees, shrubs, tangles of vines, or briars. At least one pair of grosbeaks has nested in a bluebird nest box.
- Blue Grosbeaks have expanded northward in the United States in the past century or two, possibly taking advantage of forest clearing.
- The oldest Blue Grosbeak on record was a male, at least 7 years, 2 months old when he was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Virginia.
If I had known that this was a bird that I had never seen before because I may have been able to get them flying and singing. As it was, they looked like silhouettes in the lighting that I had, so I moved on. Hopefully, there will be another day to photograph them before they fly south.