Bird-watching has been a hobby of mine ever since I was a small boy on our Wisconsin farm. I used to climb the white pine trees on our farm, between Ladysmith and Bruce, to find the oriole's nest. Sometimes I would climb so far to the top that the tree would start bending over. My mom would come out and holler for me to get down before I fell out and killed myself. I used to send in the label from an Arm and Hammer Baking Soda box and they would send me the neatest set of bird cards in a little box. By carrying them around in my pocket I was able to identify all the birds in the area. After we moved out here I discovered that a lot of the birds that were in Wisconsin don't live here and visa-versa.
I think one of my favorite birds is the oriole. They are here and in Wisconsin both. Back there silk from the milkweed stems was used to weave their nests. Out here we put string and different things on our porch rail and the orioles come and take it to build their nest. So far this year they are one of the few birds that haven't shown up here from their trip to Mexico for the winter.
The latest new arrival from the south was the black headed grosbeak. Linda Page a friend and upriver resident sent me this picture of a black headed grosbeak yesterday. The best thing about this bird is its song. Sometimes in the heat of the summer the male seems to sing all day long. It took me the longest time to convince my wife that the song was coming from a black headed grosbeak because a lot of times we couldn't spot it. Now they come to our feeder all the time. Wouldn't it be cool to be able to have one of these birds tell us all about their trip to the south and back?