WOW! Having a rare bird in Houston sure attracts a lot of attention. I got more hits on my blog today than ever before. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and sent comments.
For those who are interested, I did not see the Black Headed Grosbeak today. I checked before I left for work this morning, and Leecy checked when she arrived home. Based on my work hours, the next best chance for me to see this bird again will be on Friday as I will be at home that day. I’ll also keep a close watch over the weekend.
Also, to give more specifics on how I sighted this bird. It was probably 11:00 am on Sunday. As mentioned previously, there was lots of activity around the bird feeder. Out of nowhere, I saw this orange-black bird in the trees behind my yard. I had no idea what it was at the time, but I just started taking pictures. He didn’t make any sound that I recall, before or after I first saw him. Whereas there were some Cardinals on the feeder when he first arrived, once he started eating, the Cardinals flew away. He was probably on the feeder for a good 7-10 minutes before flying away. I didn’t realize that this was such a rare bird for our area, otherwise I would have taken even more pictures and done a better job of tracking which direction he flew. In terms of seed that I noticed him eating, it was only Black Oil Sunflower Seed. I do have a mixture of seed in and around that feeder, including Sunflower seed, a Nut and Berry Blend that I get from Wabash Antique and Feed, and for the Goldfinches, I have a songbird blend that contains thistle and some other type of seed. There is also a small suet feeder.
I like to think my backyard is a pretty good haven for both Birds and Butterflies. I have 2 stationary bird baths, 1 running water bird fountain, and one little miniature bird pond (see links here) that I built a few weeks ago. I also have a salt-water pool that some birds like to drink out of for some reason. I also have a decent size Koi pond in the corner of the backyard. The pond is still covered in netting right now from the Winter and Fall leaves dropping, but I may take that off again soon if the Hawks don’t start hunting my Koi. The Koi pond attracts lots of Frogs and Toads in the Spring, Summer, and Fall (as well as the occasional Snake and Turtle).
Plant-wise I have lots of Alphonse Karr Bamboo that surrounds much of the backyard (the Cardinals had many nests in there last year (check out the Bird Cam videos throughout the blog), an Improved Meyer Lemon, 2 Grapevines, 2 Blueberry, 2 Orange, 1 Grapefruit, 1 Black Cherry, and 1 Holly tree. There are lots of other plants that I have, but those are the ones I would think the birds find most beneficial.
I have a 14 room Purple Martin house, 2 Bluebird houses, several Hummingbird feeders, and a couple of other bird houses on the fence (which have never attracted anything).
Whew! I’m already tired. Let me just get to the additional pictures.
Since there is such great interest in this wayward visitor, here are a few more.