We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I heard one, and finally saw him high in an Ash Tree, while working with an outdoor work team on Saturday morning.
Probably breeding around here, but possibly passing through. His call is said to resemble that of "a Robin who had singing lessons." Great description.
This not-uncommon Eastern songbird, which likes deciduous woodlands, is like a large finch. They are even known to visit bird-feeders sometimes. The male is dramatic, while the female looks like a large sparrow with a large beak.
You can read more about them, and listen to their song, here.
As I said in the past, I usually don't load the feeder from May til Nov because of black bears. Well a pair of Rose Breasted Grossbeaks were frequenting the feeder and imploring us to load it up. I put the last of our sunflower seeds in the feeder and the Grossbeaks and a few Downy Woodpeckers have been feeding at it until 2 nights ago when the bears came back and wrecked the feeder. Our nearest neighbors said that they've seen a mother and two cubs near our house. I've learned my lession, no more summer feeding.
Here in north central Ohio we get one or two grosbeaks at long intervals. We had a pair briefly this spring, but it has been a few years since I last saw them.
Our bird feeder is optimized for cardinals and finches, but it attracts over a dozen species. There is supposed to be a couple of black bears in our country, but I've never seen one. The raccoons are a bigger problem.
So what is optimal to attack grosbeaks? Thistle? Sunflower seeds (which I already do)?
I've had a Grosbeak visit my feeder last Spring for the first time and again this April. He only stayed a couple of days and moved on, guessing he was heading North. My feeders have sunflower seeds, thistle, sugar water and a suet blocks. The Grosbeak liked the sunflower seeds the most. I live in central NJ and my feeders attract a large variety of birds - humming birds, blue Jays, golden finches, Cardinals, Turkeys, a few varieties of woodpeckers, etc. I loved seeing the Grosbeak - a nice addition to my yard birds! Hopefully he'll stop by again next year.
When we lived out in Washington State we frequently had Magpies visiting our backyard... always made me think of nursery rhymes...