A Sing-Off!

I have been hearing the song of a Blue Grosbeak nearly every time I go out looking around. This is a species that I ache to film. While I have a few decent pictures, none displays this handsome bird’s brilliance. I usually hear them before I see them. Then, if I do get a visual, the little bird is flying off out of range. I really want to get a great photo of this species.

The other evening (after 6:00 PM), after all the rain we received, I took a little ride around the property. I took my camera, but I knew the light was so poor I wouldn’t capture anything of value. And, of course, that is when I came upon a cute couple of Blue Grosbeaks snacking on the tall stands of wild grasses. They were constantly chirping at each other to keep in contact. They seemed almost playful. I took a few photos, but none does this bird justice.

I was surprised to also capture a Great Blue Heron at the pond, at a few minutes after 7:00 PM. I wasn’t even sure what the “shadow” was but I aimed the camera and only then realized it was this regal animal.

Yesterday, it was still quite cloudy. But, I went out a bit earlier hoping that the intermittent moments of sunlight would present just as I focused on a lovely bird.

As I sat near the alleyway by the old barn, I began hearing the Blue Grosbeak, but couldn’t get a eye on him. Then, he landed in the top of a tree about 150 feet away. Had it been a sunny day, I may have been lucky enough to get a nice shot. But, the clouds were overtaking the sun and the wind was moving the branches so the still shots were not successful. But, because this incredible bird was singing to his hearts content I thought I might get a video – mostly for the audio.

What I captured was what can only be described as a Sing-Off between the Blue Grosbeak and a just-as-boastful Indigo Bunting – another beautiful, blue colored bird. They are echoing each other!

I opened the Merlin app (which helps identify bird species by visual and auditory.) It is designed to be used in real time, in the field. But, I had a work around to the fact that I don’t get good signal out in the fields and I can’t aim my camera and run the app simultaneously, very well. Sitting at my computer, I played the video I took yesterday while Robert held a cell phone close to the speaker. You can see Merlin identifying the species as they have their sing duel in the video below. Pretty Cool!

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