Thanks, Marvin, I did read that, and it left me more puzzled than ever
about the behavior I'm seeing. It's possible that one of my three has
moved on and therefore could be called a passing "migrant" since I've
only seen two today. But by the Cornell description, it shouldn't be
possible for two adult RBG males to be so peacefully sharing the feeder
and the general space.
I do wonder whether the behavior may be different with, 1), actual birds
rather than no doubt somewhat peculiar-looking imposters, and/or 2),
with offspring. I'm well aware that in most cases, offspring are chased
off the territory by the adults after a certain point, but that doesn't
seem to be happening here. There's lots of room for nesting, but only
one feeder. And the RBGs do tend to park themselves on it and eat and
eat and eat and eat for a long time.
I grudgingly concede that in some ways, it's better to have mysteries
out there to ponder, but I still wish there were more money to track and
study more birds of different kinds than there is. I'd so love to know
whether "family members" do, in fact, migrate and then winter together
and tolerate each other more easily than they do strangers-- or whether
I'm just succumbing to the sentimentality I try so hard to resist and
I'm just making stuff up!
On 5/9/2014 7:19 PM, Marvin Elliott wrote:
> According to Cornell's Allaboutbirds.org, the RBGB males have some interesting traits i.e.:
> * Researchers used mounted specimens of male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks to explore aggressive behavior. Live male birds attacked the white rump and flanks of the models, suggesting that the white markings are more important than the red chest in stimulating aggression.
> * Males sing to establish territories and attract females. When a female approaches, the male rebuffs her for a day or two before accepting her as a mate. Once mated, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks appear to be monogamous. A breeding pair will tolerate migrant males in their territory if the intruder is silent. Otherwise, territorial males ward off male intruders by spreading their tails, flicking their wings, raising their crown feathers, and often chasing the intruder away.
> * The above was under the tab for life history along with several other interesting facts.
> Marv Elliott
> Marvin Elliott
> Vermont Birdhouses and Wood Products
> Rutland Town, VT
> [log in to unmask]
> On Friday, May 9, 2014 6:34 PM, Kaye Danforth <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Yes, it appears two males were just a wee larger, had stronger dark markings and larger, brighter red bibs. The other three weren't as strongly marked, and had thinner, less brilliant red bibs. They also appeared a bit smaller, but this might be due to having just flown in and needing to bulk up again. Odd to see all five ignoring the charms of the lady, not to mention not even a tussle between the five guys.
> On May 9, 2014, at 3:49 PM, Jane Stein wrote:
>> Same as my three! They're not "supposed" to do that, but clearly, they do.
>> Do you notice any difference in the size of the red bibs?
>> On 5/9/2014 2:20 PM, Kaye Danforth wrote:
>>> Today my husband and I were enjoying coffee on the porch gawking at
>>> FIVE male rose-breasted grosbeaks all serenely feasting side by side.
>>> They were ignoring the female RBG perched on the armature connecting
>>> the feeders, and clearly not moving over for her to join in. Below
>>> were a pair of white-crowned sparrows racing around like road
>>> runners. You never know what appear these these days! Kaye in
>>> ----- No virus found in this message. Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
>>> Version: 2014.0.4577 / Virus Database: 3931/7464 - Release Date:
> No virus found in this message.
> Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
> Version: 2014.0.4577 / Virus Database: 3931/7469 - Release Date: 05/10/14