Daily Archives: May 15, 2021

Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak at the feeder

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (female): Kennebunk, Maine, USA — I was passing the deck door where we have feeders out when this female Rose-breasted Grosbeak landed on the sunflower dispenser and settled in for a good chow-down. Carol even got to see it. Her response was “that’s a big bird!”and it certainly is, compared even to the Purple Finches that use that feeder. I debated running for the camera, thinking it would certainly fly off while I was gone, but it was still there when I got back. I got shots through the double-glazed glass of the door and then slowly slid the door back enough to get my camera lens through. It was so busy cracking sunflower seeds that it let me take a whole series of photos from about 7 feet. This shot is just cropped slightly at the left to eliminate a feeder pole, but is essentially full frame at 600mm equivalent. Does not get better than that! (Unless of course you could find the bird at the same distance on a natural perch.) It is amazing to me how the Grosbeak deals with sunflower seeds. It simply demolishes the shell with a single crunch. The shell falls away on either side of the beak and it then eats the kernel. Easy when you have the beak for it. The smaller finches have to work the shell, and the chickadees and nuthatches have to pound it open. I suspect, from the shell mess under the feeder, that the Grosbeak has been visiting our feeder over the past week or so when we were not watching. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos. ISO 640 @ f4 @ 1/500th.