When the Blue Grosbeak with its heavy bill and chestnut-colored wingbars was first spotted last week, it caused a frenzy among the southeast Michigan birding community.
Birders throughout Wayne, Washtenaw, and Oakland counties made the trek to view the rare bird. I was one of them!
Luckily, some people saw both female and male birds. (I only saw the male.)
Why were people so excited?
Blue Grosbeaks are not common in Michigan; they’re typically seen in the central to southern portion of the United States during breeding season.
Southern Ohio (four hours south of Michigan) is the northern edge of their breeding habitat.
For one to be seen in Michigan is a rarity!
The bird was initially found in a fenced, shrubby area where birders easily observed it as it perched on trees, branches, sticks, and barbed wire fence.
Both male and female birds were observed with nesting materials in their bill as well as caterpillars.
I’m delighted the Blue Grosbeak has chosen to nest in one of my nearby favorite birding hotspots!
It’s the same hotspot where I’ve seen the rare (for our area) Snowy Owl, Purple Martin, and Upland Sandpiper in the past year.
Not sure why it seems like it’s a monthly habit in 2020 to find another rare bird in our area.
But I’ll take it!