Bird of the Week: Evening Grosbeak

At this time of year on the edge of the high desert in Northern California I wake up to a cup of coffee and a drove of unmistakable Evening Grosbeaks at my bird feeder.  Am I lucky or what.

Evening Grosbeak

  • Coccothraustes vespertinus
  • 8 inches long with a wingspan of 14 inches

This comical looking bird with it’s massive head, big beak and beautiful, distinct colors could easily be employed in a cartoon as you can see in my photo.  They feed mainly on insects and seeds from the trees but they take pleasure in the delights of my feeder.  Each morning that I see them I am inspired by them just being there poised to greet the day with whatever it offers them.  It’s a lesson— I am reminded that I take this kind of thing for granted far too often.

This is Birdie Girl’s first featured bird.  I hope to share an interesting bird I see each week for you to enjoy. Happy Valentine’s Day and thank you for reading!

Bird of the Week: Herring Gull

California Herring Gull: Larus argentatus

Winter in California is good when I can walk along the shore and take some time to do a small watercolor of a Herring Gull that seems to be posing for me. Herring Gulls are gray and white with pink-legged. They’re the most familiar gulls of the North Atlantic and can be found across much of coastal North America in winter.  They are a common winter bird on the coast of California. Identification can be tricky with this type of gull because they resemble other gulls with a variety of plumages the first few years. Adult Herring Gulls are similar to adult Ring-billed Gulls (Larus delawarensis) and California Gull (Larus californicus) but the Herring Gulls are much larger with larger bills. I am still learning my gulls.

I was told in my orinthology class that there is no such thing as a “seagull” —It broke my heart.  All those beautiful songs and the wonderful poetry about “seagulls”— well, science is science— never took claims on being poetic, that’s for sure.  The “seagull” will always be my heart’s delight.