Jody and the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
by Cindy Ballou
Photo contributed by Cindy Ballou
Here is Jody, age 7, feeding Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. Her older sister, Cindy, tells how it happened.
"Our" Rose-breasted Grosbeak that we hand-fed for about four years in the mid 60's would chirp to announce his arrival and tell us to come outside and feed him (and later, he brought his babies to feed from our hands).
My sister Carol and I were ages 12 an 14. I had just learned to play the guitar, so the two of us would sit on the front porch singing Peter, Paul and Mary songs in harmony.
We noticed that the grosbeak would come to the feeder above us that hung on the wisteria vine. Carol had the idea to hold her hand up near the feeder with sunflower seeds in her palm. I'd play guitar, and she inched closer and closer each day.
Soon, the bird would lean down and grab a seed from her palm. Then he started coming directly to her hand no matter where she stood.
And then he stopped discriminating and would come to any of us. And then he would chirp to announce his presence. He'd also bring his babies.
Thank you, Cindy, for permission to share your remarkable family photo with visitors to Birdwatching Dot Com.