Natural Highlights: Blue Grosbeak

  Male   Female

Bird migration is in full swing in the Mid-South, with waves of neotropical migrants moving through the area, filling the woods with bright colors and birdsong.  One migrant currently appearing near the Wolf River Greenway is the gorgeous Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea), easily confused at a distance with the equally beautiful Indigo Bunting.  The Blue Grosbeak is distinguished by its larger beak and the male's bright brown wing bars contrasting with cobalt blue plumage, as well as its song and metallic chink notes.

Blue Grosbeaks nest in the MId-South and across a wide-swath of the South, seeming to prefer abandoned agricultural fields and other shrubby areas with small trees as nesting habitat.  Look for large flocks of males, which arrive on breeding grounds before the females, foraging for insects and seeds near open areas and farm fields. 

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Posted by Cathy Justis at 10:00 AM