Friday, May 22, 2015

Blue Grosbeak at Mission Trails Park

This male Blue Grosbeak was singing away at Mission Trails Regional Park. They are quite common after mid-April in the grasslands towards the Grasslands Crossing Trail north of the main one-way Park road called the Father Junipero Serra Trail near Kumeyaay Lake.

Blue Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak. Mission Trails Park, San Diego, California. May 10, 2015. Greg Gillson.
I believe this is a 2nd calendar-year bird. The ends of the primaries are brown and worn, rather than fresh and black. They are left over from the previous year when the bird was a juvenile. Otherwise the wing feathers are replaced every year in the fall and would be blacker if this was an older bird (like the upper wing feathers which are black with pale brown fringes). This is the first time the bird has been in its blue spring plumage--it was hatched a little less than a year ago. That's my best guess, anyway.

Blue Grosbeak