This is another one of the occasional visitors I get during spring migration. I haven’t seen many of my regular visitors since hurricane Michael 18 months ago but I’m hoping that as the vegetation continues to regrow, more of these little guys will return.
This is a Blue Grosbeak. He’s waiting somewhat (im)patiently for his turn at the bird feeder. From the All About Birds web site: “Blue Grosbeaks breed in tangled vine and shrub habitats across southern North America—as far north as New Jersey in the east, central California in the west, and North Dakota in the interior United States. These habitats may be in old fields, forest edges, transmission-line corridors, hedgerows, stream edges, deserts, mesquite savannas, saltcedar forests, and southern pine forests. Their habitat requirements seem to include a small number of tree species, little canopy coverage, and low shrub density. Blue Grosbeaks spend the winter in shrubby habitats of Mexico and Central America as far south as central Panama.”
“Although they feed mostly on insects (especially grasshoppers and crickets), Blue Grosbeaks also eat other invertebrates such as snails, along with the seeds of wild and cultivated grains. Their insect diet includes beetles, bugs, cicadas, treehoppers, and caterpillars. The grain portion of their diet includes seeds of bristlegrass, panicgrass, wheat, oats, rice, corn, and alfalfa. They hover and glean food from foliage, sally out for flying insects from a perch, and even hunt for insects on the ground. Before feeding an insect to their nestlings, they remove the head, wings, and most of the legs.”