An Evening Grosbeak Tale,
Some years ago a box containing an seemingly done for bird arrived on my back porch.Someone decided that a Wildlife Artist would know what to do. As I gazed into the box I was amazed at the beauty of this creature all decked out in his yellow green, with his black and white wings. His fate now in my hands,What would his price tag be for meeting the wrong picture window or windshield this cold December day?
He appeared for all intensive purposes to be ready to migrate on to that Golden Habitat in the sky but I sensed something about him and decided to let him be the judge. I placed some water and a little dish of birdseed inside the box and left him alone. I was surprised the next morning to find him in the same place in the same condition, as I was prepared for some post mortem sketches and then the transfer of his remains to the woods for his final roosting. The following day was the same except for a new gift which I believe he gave to me as a sign. A little bird poop on the shelf. Could this be from him? It was out of the box. Hmmm.... The following day two new gifts had been offered, But there he was in the same place in the box. This went on for several weeks and finally one day there he was standing on the shelf . The little bird would return to his box at the end of each day. A few days later he would travel more and more around around my porch and leave gifts.He now varied his walks with wing beats and would do reps of window climbs and when tired would return to his box. A few days past and I came out to check on him and he was already out for his exercise and gave me a look which I interpreted as a request to go home. I opened the window and a moment later he flew out as if nothing had ever happened to him. He perched in a tree for about ten minutes and then took off like a shot. He was gone.
Although I missed him, I was glad that he decided to recover and return to his homeland. A few weeks later I happened to look out my back window and was shocked by what I saw. The entire back yard was filled with Evening Grosbeaks. They were hundreds and they were only on my property. It was one of the most visual sights I can ever recall. The brightness of the their plumage against the overcast woods was fantastic. Then suddenly they all took flight and were gone. This species of bird had never been to my feeder before and have never returned. I became interested in them and have learned that they were once one of the most popular birds in the Northeast just as recent as 20 years ago. It appears that they are in serious decline.
I would welcome any news of these birds. Hope you have enjoyed this weeks post. Enjoy the Spring. KJS
This painting is a study in oils ,size 5x7 on hardboard and is available.