Blushed with Praise!

Shot of the Month – October 2015

Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Vermont (3197)As you can see, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak (RBG) is a striking looking fellow. And not only is he good looking,  this guy has a lovely voice.  His double threat traits strike a chord with the ornithological crowd and stir flight of fancy and poetic prose.

A few of my favorite turns of phrase:

“Bursting with black, white, and rose-red, male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are like an exclamation mark in your binoculars.” (source)

Nicely done, sir.  I love that visual.

Another, albeit a bit more gruesome nickname is “cut-throat.”  I find that visual much less pleasing, though one can’t argue with the logic.

And for the bird’s lovely song?  A couple of early twentieth-century naturalists said it is

“…so entrancingly beautiful that words cannot describe it….it has been compared to the finest efforts of the Robin and…the Scarlet Tanager, but it is far superior to either.”

Ouch, it seems that the robin and scarlet tanager will not be going to the next round of the competition.

Even the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (home of smarty-pants-bird geeks) was getting all artsy-like in its description of the RBG’s lovely fine voice:

“They sound like American Robins, but listen for an extra sweetness, as if the bird had operatic training…”

Operatic training? Oh, so high brow of them….


Here you can hear his lovely call in action:

If you want to catch this lovely star in action your best chance is to visit northeastern forests in the US and Canada during the spring and summer; the cut-throats spend the winter in Central and South America.

Ahh, the life of celebrity…..until next month.  🙂



Nikon D4S, Nikon 600mm f/4 (@f/5.6), 1.4x TC, 1/2000 sec, ISO 800,