Date: 9/28/18 5:40 pm From: Marlene A Condon via VA-bird <va-bird...> Subject: [VA-bird] Rose-breasted Grosbeaks daily-western Albemarle
I have been seeing Rose-breasted Grosbeaks about every day for the past few weeks--I have never seen so many, either in spring or fall! I hope this means they had a great reproductive season this year.
This evening (about 6 PM) there were 3 adult males and a female. Two of the males had brown backs but their heads were still mostly black, although they were in the process of turning brown. The other male already had a brown head and back. The 4th edition of the National Geographic field guide says the brown-tipped plumage of the males occurs before migration, but it is obviously happening during migration.
Also, I find it strange that none of my field guides illustrates this plumage change which I would expect to be of interest to folks, and at the very least, confusing for people who are not familiar with the bird. Even The Sibley Guide to Birds doesn't illustrate this adult male fall plumage. Does anyone else find this a bit odd?