A few days ago I posted some pictures of partially eaten apples in the corridor area of the farm. We harvested most of the fruit a while back, but we left the apples that Robert couldn’t reach. I knew they would not go to waste. Some critter would take advantage of the sugary energy.
We put up a trail cam to see what might be snacking on the fruit, but the first night was a bust due to condensation on the lens. Nonetheless, the apples were about 7/8 consumed, so clearly something had enjoyed them. Most people posted that squirrels were probably the culprit, but truly, we don’t have many squirrels around, so I thought we might discover a different customer. We set up the camera again. To sweeten the pot, I pressed a piece of wire coat-hanger through a fresh apple and hung over a branch in the tree.
In reviewing the 30 second clips, we had a bit of success. On a few clips a curious bird with a red breast and some black and white markings over his back showed up. The head wasn’t red, so it wasn’t a red-headed woodpecker. The red covered too much of the bird’s chest to be one of the woodpeckers. The camera was too far from the tree and the resolution a bit too low to truly get a good view of the action. I did a search for “birds with red markings” and while I had a good idea, the markings did not completely mesh up with my supposition.
This afternoon I took the trail came back out for a second go-around. Then, I sat in silence for an hour, camera in hand, waiting to see if anything might show up. I had nearly given up when there was activity in a very mature infertile apple tree about thirty feet up the corridor. Four, maybe five birds were milling about at the very top, deeply hidden in the leaves. I shot where I saw the activity but didn’t know if I’d capture anything until I got back to my office and enlarged and scanned them.
To my surprise, I saw something I wasn’t expecting. At the far upper left corner of the frame – which wasn’t close to where I had seen the other activity – was a blue-ish bird.
I think the beak is too large to be an Indigo Bunting. My best guess is that this is a juvenile Blue Grosbeak. Let me know what you think.
Here’s the bird that I captured in that same tree, where I had seen the activity and focused my camera.
Let’s get back to the apple I hung in the smaller tree as a lure. After an hour of patiently waiting, I put down my camera and grabbed my cell phone to send a text to my husband [didn’t see anything – on my way home], when all of a sudden I saw the apple shift a little. Three, perhaps four birds flew into the tree, but I focused on this juvenile male snacking.
After that incredible bird flew off, one of the others that had been higher in the tree flitted down to a lower branch. I couldn’t tell whether it was a female or a juvenile. Then I looked at the final shot as he flew off. The red under his wings may have confirmed it was another juvenile male. I have read that a female doesn’t have such a intense hue of red under her wings.
The trail cam remains pointed towards the apple in hopes that it will catch some better video of the activity. It was running when I was taking these photos, but I left it out to possibly catch a critter of the night that may also have found the fruit. We have a busy weekend of teaching a Service Dog class. But, if I get some good video off the trail cam I will share it here next week.
I had such a nice experience catching this bird as he transforms from his colors of youth to his adult plumage.