The grosbeaks are back. In fact, in larger numbers than I’ve seen before.
The first time (10 am, as always) I heard them outside and registered the familiar piercing cries vaguely in the background.
Then I opened the door to step out, and more than 50 burst up from the ground right in front of the door into the trees, like they’d been staging a grosbeak Occupy. Wow, ok. They looked down on me from the treetops, and I obediently went to get a bucket of sunflower seeds, and scattered them on the ground. Obviously they remember this was a decent port-of-call last year, and they’re back.
They’ve been back every second day since. They should be called Morning Grosbeaks, not Evening Grosbeaks, because they appear here only in the morning as reliable as clocks. I always wonder where they spend their afternoons. They must have a route.
I don’t have a feeder out yet – it hasn’t snowed or been very cold. Besides, grosbeaks prefer to spread out on the ground and forage, with a couple sentries overlooking from the trees. They only squawk and fight over the limited ports of a feeder.
One day the grosbeaks came, cluttering up the trees around the house, calling and literally looking in the windows at me (the trees are so close branches brush the house in wind). Ok, ok! I got up and fed them. That day there were over a hundred, amazing!
The chickadees come too, and the squirrels have territorial dispute chases. Soon I’ll put up a feeder and then be as obliged to the wild birds all winter as I am to my chickens.