Rose Breasted Grosbeaks return

by Ken Quas
(Pine River, Minnesota)

Wanted to update our experience with Rose Breasted Grosbeaks. We were pleasantly surprised when again this year a pair of male Rose Breasted Grosbeaks came to our feeders in North Central Minnesota on the morning of May 6th, just like clockwork as the birds appeared a year earlier on May 6th (and the year before that on May 5th). The next day, a female joined them and then 2 more males. Today, May 8th, we have 4 males and 2 female Rose Breasted Grosbeaks at the feeders along with two males not in breeding plumage yet.


We are experiencing a cool spring again this year after a snowy winter. The Aspen trees are just beginning to show swelled leaf buds. The Maples and Oaks aren't even close to that stage. Our hope is that the Grosbeaks have a better year with their broods than last year. Hawks are taking a toll on our Myrtle Warblers the last week or so. So our yard is in their crosshairs for a food source.

The wild Turkeys in our area seemed to winter well, better than the local deer herd with our deep snow the past winter. Tough birds as we enjoy several in the yard daily. The Common Sapsuckers have been back for a couple of weeks, so we anticipate Ruby Throated Hummingbirds next week. No Bluebirds at this point in time. We never saw one all of last year to our surprise and disappointment. We suspected a migration disaster in their return last spring.

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