October is a busy month for birds here in the Atlanta area.
Many of them have begun the long flight to their winter homes and stop by for a brief visit en route. The other day, I looked out in the backyard and was pleased to see my favorite migrator, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
This fellow is a youngster and is still losing the brown feathers of his youth. Although he started off as the spittin’ image of his tan-toned Mama, he is now beginning to display the black and white boldness of his Dad and is already sporting the tell-tale rose tinged breast.
Most of the time, he stayed concealed among the Dogwood leaves, busily munching on berries to fuel up for the rest of his journey. Getting a picture of him felt like a game of Peek-a-boo where I was continually on the losing end.
It was fascinating to watch him eat several berries, and then carry one over to a notch in the branch for easier dining.
Every once in awhile, he would head down to the fountain for a quick drink, and then get right back to his feasting.
A female has been tagging along with him, but she has been hesitant to come close when I have been out with my camera. There is such a gentle loveliness about this shy gal.
Once his belly was sufficiently full, the young fellow settled on a branch for a brief rest, and then off he flew for another round of berries.
I hope he stops by on his return flight in April and humors me with a few more photos. By then, this young Grosbeak’s colors and patterns will be breathtaking.