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I am fully aware that even with the more drab birds their mothers are proud of them and they are lovely, not drab, in her eyes; but there really are certain birds that are brownish or grayish and just don’t sparkle. Here are a few of those, along with a compensatory bright bird or two. It is the month of May and we are deep into the season of northward migration. All the birds that wintered in Mexico, Central and South America, or the southern USA are making that long flight back to their northern breeding areas. There are even a couple that come up from Tierra del Fuego!
All in all this is pretty remarkable – many of the warblers weigh less than half-an-ounce and many of them will fly more than 3000 miles each way. The great boreal forests of the northern hemisphere (holarctic – including Siberia as well as Canada) will be the destination for many of the warblers and flycatchers. The sandpipers, jaegers, and some terns will fly even further, up into both dry and wet tundra, well above the Arctic tree line. Many of our sea and bay ducks are already up in the north country nesting alongside tundra pools or in boreal forest trees.
So here are a few images with captions. These are neighborhood birds; nothing was sought out to be photographed, they just happened by. You can see them and record them as well. Look into eBird; a great free data base and information service regarding birds…really you should look it up and enjoy. Some day I will do a page on sparrows as people often ask about them – they are also drab and brown; but show much more variation than you first imagine.
The bird in the header image is a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak (RBGR). The male is black, white, and has a bright red bib; quite eye-catching he is. It looks like he is wearing a tuxedo with a red ascot. The female is like a big chunky sparrow. The large beak is very much a characteristic of Grosbeaks as the name announces, but otherwise she is well designed for remaining out of sight on a nest up in the trees and is not dressed to walk the catwalk with her splashy mate.