Posted by: atowhee | August 27, 2019


My wife spotted a Black-headed Grosbeak at one of our bird baths today.  We had just cleaned and refilled them this morning.  I hear them sing in our part of McMinnville every spring but this is the latest date for a sighting, or hearing, at our house.  This will be one of our hottest days of the year so far and the grosbeak clearly enjoyed a drink and a cooling splash about.

All of us birders are voyeurs to some extent.  But I realize that here I am watching a female neighbor in her ablutions, and taking pictures to share with the world.  In my defense, she was in my garden and fully dressed.  I hope she won’t mind becoming a touching example of the joy of water on a  very hot, dry day.  More splashing:

I believe this is a female grosbeak and not a juvie.  Her upper mandible is clearly darker than the lower.  Somebody who knows these birds quite well avers that this is actually a first-year bird, perhaps a male getting  a little coloring on the head.  If you click on images to enlarge you will note in some a tiny orange smear above each eye.  Don’t find that in Sibley’s.
Some pictures not very clear–all were taken through a window because I did not want to disturb here by approaching a door and opening it.

820 NW 19th Street, McMinnville, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Aug 27, 2019
9 species

Eurasian Collared-Dove  6
California Scrub-Jay  1
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  5
Bushtit  X
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
House Finch  2
American Goldfinch  4
Black-headed Grosbeak  1

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