A Few of My Favorite Birds (3): The Bird with a Big Heart

“If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes.” Charles LindberghFlicker and female cardinalI live in a veritable bird paradise, and dozens of colorful birds come to my feeder. Blue Jay Our home (lovingly referred to as Tanglewood Cottage) is in a woods, Baltimore Oriole so we attract many song birds Downy Woodpeckerand woodpeckers. Thankfully, my window also overlooks a little lake,
Wood ducks in Rain, April 20, 2012  copy 2so we’re blessed with many different types of waterfowl too,Swan and cynets on shoreand we enjoy watching the yearly progression in the lives of “our birds.” Mourning DoveBeing a grandma with a passion for learning and sharing, I thought writing a Red-bellied Woodpeckerseries about birds might be a fun way to connect with nature lovers young & old. IMG_8420This Thursday’s bird post is on the “Rose-breasted Grosbeak,” and at first sight,IMG_8423  the females look like some type of big song sparrow, but they’re not!IMG_8424They do look similar, but a grosbeak is about 2 inches longer than a sparrow. IMG_7176The male grosbeak looks very similar to the female in size, head and beak shape, IMG_7178but he has such different coloring—with his striking black and white feathers—IMG_7195 that it’s almost hard to imagine they’re a pair. Don’t they look different?!IMG_7273Mr. Grosbeak also has a very special secret…something you can’t tell from afar. IMG_7271It’s not something you’ll ever discover by observing him from behind…IMG_7740or even if you’re perched right beside him! IMG_6474You have to look straight at him—right into his eyes—to know his secret: IMG_6473He has a huge heart!IMG_6472So, if you ever see a bird with a big, red heart on his chest, IMG_7735 you’ll know he’s a “rose-breasted grosbeak.” IMG_6281 Isn’t he a handsome bird? IMG_6285Although Mr. Rose-breasted Grosbeak chirps while eating seeds at our feeder,DSCN2134 he has a melodious, warbling song that’s been likened to that of a robinRose-breasted Grossbeak who’s had singing lessons! A handsome, big-hearted singer. What a heart throb!IMG_8418Besides all that, he’s a good family man; he even sings while sitting on the nest!IMG_7564Mr. Rose-breasted Grosbeak is also a very considerate husband, IMG_7920and he’ll quickly defer to his wife, gathering seeds on the ground IMG_7277while she perches on the feeder. However, it’s not because he’s antisocial! IMG_7490 Mr. and Mrs. Grosbeak are good friends with all their neighbors.IMG_7928They’re very peaceable, and they’re not afraid of anybody…not even me! IMG_7577Who wouldn’t love to have a friend (or husband) like that?…handsome but still devoted to his less gorgeous wife, cheerful, helpful, self-sacrificing, sociable, and peaceable. Come to think of it, who wouldn’t like to have a wife like that? Maybe I can learn a few lessons from the birds too! 🙂 At any rate, I’m always thrilledIMG_7736  to see Mr. and Mrs. Rose-breaked Grosbeak arrive in the spring, IMG_7844and I miss them when they leave for Central/South America in the fall. If you live in the northeastern part of America, I hope you’ll be able to enjoy some of these perky birds too and will feel inspired by knowing that they’re not only big-hearted on the outside, they have big hearts on the inside too!

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25).