Three Blue Grosbeaks

Early October’s stretch of warm sunny days has continued, with almost no sign of fall color in the trees yet, though dry leaves have begun to drift down. One of the nicest parts of a walk late this morning was stopping for a few minutes to watch three Blue Grosbeaks in the field and on the edge of an old oak grove across from the field.

With a hard, distinctive chink call, a brown bird flew up from the field onto a wire where it sat for several moments. It had a long, restless tail, a slightly crested head, and in direct sunlight looked golden brown. When it flew across the road into the more shaded light of oaks and other small trees, its colors turned warm, tawny brown all over, with rusty wing bars.

Two more Blue Grosbeaks flew up out of the weeds along the edge of the field, and followed the first into the oaks and the smaller trees below them. Both of these birds showed patches of blue mixed in with the brown of their plumage. They all exchanged chink calls almost constantly as they moved around in the trees, and before long, had moved further away and out of sight.

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