Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rose-breasted Grosbeak at Ketchum Parks & Rec

On December 1, a birder and artist in the Wood River Valley, Poo Wright-Pulliam, and a group of students participating in Project Feederwatch found a Rose-breasted Grosbeak hanging out at the bird feeders behind the Ketchum Parks & Recreation Department. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are quite rare in Idaho, but 2014 was a banner year for them, with sightings reported in McCall, City of Rocks, Malad, and Fairfield.

We tried to chase down all of them except for the McCall report (since it was on private property), but failed to track it down. After hearing others reports on the bird frequently over the course of the next several days, we made plans to head out on the weekend to see if we could finally land one for our 2014 list (not to mention our state and life lists!).

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eBird map of Rose-breasted Grosbeak reports at the Ketchum Parks & Recreation Department, Blaine County.

When we got there I expected there would be a crowd of other birders, but I guess most of them must have managed to get there earlier and interest was starting to wane, as we ended up having the place all to ourselves for the entire hour we spent there. At first, there were not birds at the feeders and it was very quiet, so we worried we wouldn’t find it, but after a few minutes we spotted it just quietly resting on a branch in the pine trees above the feeder.

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Rose-breasted Grosbeak at the Ketchum Parks & Recreation Department, Blaine County. December 6, 2014.

As others had described, we also saw it make a couple of trips up to the rain gutter, presumable to take a drink.

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Rose-breasted Grosbeak at the Ketchum Parks & Recreation Department, Blaine County. December 6, 2014.

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Rose-breasted Grosbeak at the Ketchum Parks & Recreation Department, Blaine County. December 6, 2014.

Nora was pretty thrilled to see the bird as well (that, or she just saw the swings nearby). It’s always fun to take our little girl everywhere with us and show her all sorts of fun things she won’t remember yet.

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Nora at the Ketchum Parks & Recreation Department, Blaine County. December 6, 2014.

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