Rare NH Bird Sighting Alert
If you research the Pine Grosbeak, you will notice that it's range does not include New Hampshire. Then why were they devouring my crab apple trees last evening?
It is all about that 'irruptive behavior'. Basically, if the fruit trees in their native Canada aren't producing enough for their voracious appetites, flocks will head south for hundreds and hundreds of miles in search of bountiful harvests like the one they found in front of my house yesterday.
This has happened only once before in the ten years that I've lived within arms reach of these trees.
The last time the flock of grosbeaks was either very tame, because they weren't afraid of human interaction, OR the crabapples had fermented and they were too inebriated to care that I was looking right at them from a foot away.
This flock was far more timid and shy. As you can see, my attempts to capture any 'calendar quality' photos were thwarted by their turned backs, time and time again.
Another thing that doesn't translate well through these photos is the beautiful color on their heads and tailfeathers. It's this strange, almost semi-iridescent gold and olive combination that cannot be described.
If the sun was out while I snapped these shots, MAYBE, the color would have shown it's true self, HOWEVER, the sun DID come out for a couple minutes and this entire flock of eight birds took off like there was a New Year's Eve firework display underneath them.
The first time I saw them, it was dark and overcast as well. Apparently, they like to pig out when it's dark out. I can agree with that method!
If you have fruit trees, look for these little guys, despite the beautiful color they have the ability to hide in plain sight.