Date: 8/6/17 2:01 pm
From: Alyssa DeRubeis <alderubeis...>
Subject: [mou-net] Blue Grosbeaks continue, be considerate of fledglings (Hennepin Co.)
Shortly after 8am I immediately heard the male Blue Grosbeak singing at the
previously described Eden Prairie location. He gave nice looks on top of a
red cedar, on the other side of the fence. The male also gave "chink"
notes, as did the female. I got a video of the male singing, although he is
pretty back-lit.

As a heads up, please be super mindful of this family of Blue Grosbeaks. I
saw the female carrying food at one point as she started flying towards a
tree or shrub on our side of the fence, but immediately did a U-turn
because there were a few birders too close to her. If she feels threatened,
she will not feed her offspring until the perceived threat is further
away--which means the fledglings don't receive as much food as they should
be. There's a study on nesting Song Sparrows and the perceived threat of
predators showing that the greater the perceived predatory disturbances,
the lower the reproductive success.

In other words, if you see the female with food but she's perched for a
while, or is flying around but never lands anywhere, that's a sign that
you're too close. Please back away. Use your spotting scope instead of your
binoculars. I was going to tell the other birders that, but because they
were on the other side of the bird from me, walking over there would have
disturbed her even more. Once I saw the female grosbeak making the U-turn,
I left the area to minimize my disturbance on her parenting duties.
Hopefully the other birders backed away shortly after.

I say fledglings because someone reported a fledgling, along with the two
adults, on eBird earlier today. This is very exciting that there is a
breeding pair in the Metro area and I hope our presence as birders doesn't
negatively impact their chick rearing.

Good birding!

Alyssa DeRubeis
visiting Golden Valley, Hennepin Co.

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