Sunday, June 16, 2013

Beyond Blue: The OTHER Colors of Utah's Grosbeaks

I thought I'd follow up to my recent post about Blue Grosbeaks by sharing some of the other colors of Utah's Grosbeaks. Click here if interested in seeing my previous post on Blue Grosbeaks. All of Utah's Grosbeaks have unique color patterns.

I'll say right up front that I still need to capture images of a Pine Grosbeak. I won't be able to include that one in the post. However, I do have a variety of images of Black-headed, Evening, and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks to share.

I'll start with the Black-headed Grosbeak. It is the most commonly seen of all the Grosbeaks who visit or reside in the state of Utah.

Male Black-headed Grosbeak Highland Glen Park Highland, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)

Male Black-headed Grosbeak Highland Glen Park Highland, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)

Male Black-headed Grosbeak on Yard Feeder in Pleasant Grove, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)

Female Black-headed Grosbeak Tabiona, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)

Female Black-headed Grosbeak Tabiona, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)

Male Black-headed Grosbeak Highland Glen Park Highland, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)
The image below is not as sharp as I like, but it does show a bit of the wing and tail pattern for the male Black-headed Grosbeak.

Male Black-headed Grosbeak Highland Glen Park Highland, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)

Evening Grosbeaks are probably second to the Black-headed when it comes to how often they are seen by birders in Utah. While the Black-headed are abundant during the spring and summer breeding months the Evening is more commonly seen during the winter months when they come down from the mountains and visit yard feeders and parks loaded with Russian Olive Trees.  People who have them visiting yard feeders will quickly share how these birds will eat you out of house and home when it comes to the amount of seeds they will eat. Below are images of males and females.

The yellow uni-brow of the male is pretty cool. These first two images were captured near Sundance Ski Resort.

Male Evening Grosbeak at Sundance Ski Resort Utah County, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)

Male Evening Grosbeak at Sundance Ski Resort Utah County, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)
The following Evening Grosbeak images were captured as a small flock devoured olive berries from the Russian Olive Trees at Creekside Park in Holladay, Utah. The soft light caused by a gray, overcast sky helped create some interesting images.

Male Evening Grosbeak at Creekside Park Holladay, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)

Female Evening Grosbeak at Creekside Park Holladay, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)

Male Evening Grosbeak at Creekside Park Holladay, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)

Female Evening Grosbeak at Creekside Park Holladay, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)

Male Evening Grosbeak at Creekside Park Holladay, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)

Male Evening Grosbeak at Creekside Park Holladay, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)

Female Evening Grosbeak at Creekside Park Holladay, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a rare visitor to Utah. Several are reported each year by local birders. They are most likely to be seen near Black-headed Grosbeaks during the spring and summer months. The male has a unique look and stands out from other Grosbeaks. The females, however, appear very similar to female Black-headed Grosbeaks. Reports of female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks might happen more if birders were more discerning in their observations of females.

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak Highland Glen Park Highland, UT (Photo by Jeff Cooper)

9 comments:

  1. SUPER photos Jeff; delightful birds

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    1. Thanks, Carole, for visiting and commenting. I love getting out to discover, experience, and photograph these birds in their natural environments.

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  2. Buenas capturas de estas especies.Un abrazo

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    1. Gracias, Isidro, por sus palabras amables!

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  3. Jeff, beautiful photos of the Grosbeaks! I have not seen the Evening in a very long time here in northern Colorado. So sad. I have the Black-headed and the Blue (not as often).

    Thanks for sharing your photos!

    ~ Sheila

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    1. Thanks, Sheila, for your kind words. Seeing that you are from northern Colorado reminds me that I would love to see more Lark Buntings in Utah. Do you see them often where you bird? I understand they are common in northern Colorado.

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  4. Of all the stunning grosbeaks you feature here, I have only had the pleasure of seeing Red-breasted Grosbeaks. Oh how I would love to spot the others. Exceptional photographs! Excellent post!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Thanks, Julie! I enjoyed capturing images of these birds. I wish we had more Rose-breasted Grosbeaks passing through Utah. I enjoy the images you are posting!

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