The Sweet Sounds of Summer
by Nicole Carlozo -- June 13th, 2012
To continue my tradition of summer nature blogs, I’ll begin my post-graduation blogging with some melodic musings.
Every summer feels like a new beginning, especially to a young graduate in pursuit of the next big adventure in her life (aka – the job). But in a literal sense, the early months of summer are also new, rosy beginnings for many creatures.
Warm weather emerges early in the South. This May, my little historic home in downtown Beaufort had a porch visit from some very loud (and may I add adorable) baby birds. Day by day, we watched the breeding pair go about nest building atop one of our porch columns. And then, on one not-so-special day, we heard the chicks. In the days to come, I sped to the doorway at every sound. The chicks exploded with noise every time their mother or father brought food. But alas, I was unable to identify the family. Upon sensing my presence, away went the parents to the nearest tree or telephone line. They chirped at me, as if saying “what are you doing in front of my home?” Oh the irony…
One day, the birds were gone. Whether they flew the coop, so to speak, or their disappearance had something to do with the neighbor’s cats, I can’t say. But a week or so later on a visit to Fort Macon, the little birds entered my mind again. When I entered the Coastal Education and Visitor Center, I found my way to a display on local birds. And there was my porch friend – a rose-breasted grosbeak. The mystery had been solved!
And there you have it – a little bit of nature from Beaufort, NC. I plan to soak in as much of it as I can before heading North next month. There are so many bird species in the area that I don’t think I’ll have a problem.
These little guys are my new favorites. What’s your favorite bird species?
Species: Pheucticus ludovicianus
Common name: Rose-breasted grosbeak
Breeding: The species usually breeds North and West of NC, which is why I didn’t originally identify it! But low and behold, we definitely had chicks on our front porch. The male and female shared nesting responsibilities and the male’s coloration looked more like a “first spring” male.
Nesting: Although the nest was up too high for me to see, the eggs should have been pale green or blue in color with reddish brown speckles. 1-5 eggs are common, and although I couldn’t get a good look, our nest had at least 4 babies.