2017 update on Rose Breasted Grosbeaks on our place

by Ken Quass
(Pine River, Minnesota)

It has been a couple of years since 'we' reported on the Rose Breasted Grosbeaks at our feeders. Mostly due to having to pull in our bird feeders in April the last couple of years due to nuisance bears and the Grosbeaks 'left' the area, seemingly never to return.

This spring a bear destroyed our hanging 'winter' feeder in March and as April rolled around, no more bear sign in the yard. So we left the bird feeders in place, sans the hanging platform feeder. On May 9th we spotted two male Rose Breasted Grosbeaks at the feeders and a day or so later a couple of females. Now we enjoy several males, some not in breeding plumage yet and more females. And we are hearing their lovely song again.

Surprisingly to us. they also enjoy eating suet from a new hanging suet feeder we made for the Pileated Woodpeckers and we have seen a couple of males checking out our homemade Oriole feeder, a hanging platform with a grape jelly ramakin and orange halves impaled on dowels. The suet feeder looks like a large slingshot with a paddle shaped 'handle' so the Pileateds can brace their tails on it. It contains 4 suet cakes so smaller birds can easily grasp the wire cage enclosing the suet and peck away. Several small birds can feed at a time on both sides of the feeder. It is not unusual to see Grosbeaks on both sides of the suet feeder at one time.

It is good to have the birds around, again.

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