Monday, December 6, 2010

Birds I'm Watching: Evening Grosbeaks

I drove over to Apollo Way, in southwestern Santa Rosathis morning pursuing reports that there were migrating Evening grosbeaks to be seen. After a little searching, I found a tree full of them. There were about 30. These are fairly unusual birds in Sonoma County--and very pretty. They look rather like giant goldfinches with oversized beaks.

The birds were eating the red berries of the Chinese pistachio tree (or Chinese pistache), which mostly attracts bluebirds in my neighborhood. This is Pistacia chinensis, not Pistacia vera, the tree that produces the familiar pistachio nut. The upper photo here is a male grosbeak, the lower photo shows a female. This sighting brings my Sonoma County species total to 199, my life total to 324.

For more information about bird watching in Sonoma County, see my Website Sonoma County Bird Watching Spots

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