Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Black-headed Grosbeak in Duluth

I was in Ithaca and missed the Duluth Christmas Bird Count. The group I've always been in got a really cool bird. We always stop first at the yard of my friend Pat Thomas--she has put her heart and soul into providing plants and feeders to provide sustenance for a wide variety of birds, and this year the day before the Count she discovered this wonderful bird in her yard. She let compiler Jim Lind know, and "my" group, led by my dear friend Janet Riegle found it first thing. I was delighted, but also felt frustrated that I've missed the count these past two years. This is one of the coolest birds ever seen in my area. Anyway, it stuck around through the blizzard and was there today when Janet and I went birding. What a lovely bird to see--new for the state, new for the year, and new for my photography list. I didn't want to scare it so my photos are at some distance, and not as detailed and crisp as one would want for print, but I'm happy!!!


  1. Must have been exciting to find something so unexpected! :)

  2. i,

    Love the blog, keep up the good work! I was trying to find contact details but couldn't so I posted.

    We have just finished a new site for use by the birding community:
    We are contacting a limited number of people that we hope will let us know what they think about it before we take it out of beta. If you could let me know what you think that would be great.

    We also have an iPhone app out that can be used in conjunction with the site, you can find out more about the iPhone app here:

    and this links through to the app in iTunes:


  3. I love discovering new birds, especially during the colder season when the bird count is low. It helps me stave off the cold months while waiting for my favorite birds, hummingbirds. I even have a hummingbird feeder lined up. Have you heard anything about these feeders?

  4. A Black-headed Grosbeak is a wonderful bird no matter where it is, but how exciting to find one in Minnesota! We were excited to see one in our Rio Grande Valley yard early this year--it was not such a surprise as it would be for those of you up north, but it is always a delight and certainly not an every-year bird. Here's a picture of our BH grosbeak:
    I love your podcasts!