Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Beak's Bigger Than Your Beak

This isn’t the best photo by any means, but I think it’s kind of interesting even so. Until I saw the cardinal next to the rose-breasted grosbeak, I think I would have guessed that a grosbeak’s beak was larger than a cardinal’s. It doesn’t look that way, does it? I think I also would have guessed that the grosbeak is a larger bird than the cardinal, but these two look nearly identical in size.

The rose-breasted grosbeak have arrived somewhat early this year. My first sighting was a female on May 4. Last year my first sighting was May 17, which was somewhat late. In 2007 I was starting to despair that I had missed seeing the birds altogether and then they finally arrived.

It was raining heavily when I took this photo through my living room window on Monday morning around 7:30 a.m. The early hour and the rain both contribute to why neither bird looks as pretty as usual. The grosbeak was also a bit uncooperative in that it wasn’t eating in a position where I could get a photo that shows his pretty, rose-colored breast. Seeing these two species together is a treat and instructive too, even if the photo quality isn't the highest


Lynne said...

I think that's a neat photo. Am I reading too much into their body language or is the cardinal seeming to be giving grosbeak the dominant hairy eyeball?

pablo said...

It's a sort of peaceable kingdom kind of photo.

Ruth said...

I hope the Grosbeaks come to my yard this year. They have arrived in our area. What an interesting picture!

Carolyn H said...

Lynne, your reading of the body language of these two birds is what I saw too. The cardinal, who is a daily visitor, wasn't going to let a new interloper eat all *his* sunflower seeds. I was a little surprised, as cardinals seem rather shy, at least around people. Mr. Cardinal shows up at dawn, even before Mrs. Cardinal arrives. But he sure wasn't a wuss around the grosbeak.

Carolyn H.