Telling a Story with Photos: Gross Beak

Pine Grosbeaks were hanging around the bird feeders at WC’s place Thanksgiving weekend. A wonderful bit of color in a monochromatic winter. The big heavy bills aren’t designed for the sunflower chips WC was serving. They get smeared with sunflower butter, as it were.

Big, dirty bill on a handsome bird

Big, dirty bill on a handsome bird

It’s not flattering. In fact, it’s … er … gross. It must feel a little funky, too. But rather than scrape it on a -10° F branch, let’s try this.

A really good shake

A really good shake

The camera didn’t capture it all, but chunks of sunflower chip, feathers and more mysterious stuff went flying. He then ruffled his feathers before settling back.

How's that?

How’s that?

Much better.

Not only is the color lovely; they have a charming song, which they sing year ’round. Preferable to the guttural croaks of a raven, or the scolding of a chickadee.

A charming start to the holiday season.



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