Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jackie's Ruby-breasted grosbeak

My friend Jackie saw two Ruby-breasted grosbeaks in her Mt. Vernon, Iowa back-yard yesterday. Another friend Mark reported last week that he'd seen a Ruby-crowned Kinglet here in Iowa City. Both are somewhat uncommon summer dwellers to this part of the state. They may be travelling north soon, but perhaps the cool spring has given them pause to stay awhile locally.

I was envious of both sightings. Mark said he planned on keeping a list of the birds he sees now. Bird-watchers of course keep a "life-list" of birds they see world wide. Even though I've written and illustrated a book on birds, I don't have an official list of birds from in my own garden. So I started one. The list sits next to my drawing board. I keep an extra eye out at the feeding tree for new-comers. Especially those with the word "Ruby" in their name.

So far:

Winter visitors:
Northern cardinal
American goldfinch
House sparrow
Blue Jay
Black-capped chickadee
Mourning dove

Summer visitors:
Ruby throated hummingbird
gray catbird
White-breasted nuthatch
chipping sparrow
American robin

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