Rose-breasted grosbeaks have been passing through the Tennessee Valley migrating north to their breeding grounds. Much to my good fortune, several have stopped by my feeder in the past few days.
John James Audubon wrote about an encounter he had with one at night while camping on the Mohawk River in the early 1800s.
“The evening was calm and beautiful, the sky sparkled with stars, which were reflected by the smooth waters, and the deep shade of the rocks and trees of the opposite shore fell on the bosom of the stream…
“I closed my eyes, and was passing away into the world of dreaming existence, when suddenly there burst on my soul the serenade of the Rose-breasted bird, so rich, so mellow, so loud in the stillness of the night, that sleep fled from my eyelids. Never did I enjoy music more: it thrilled through my heart, and surrounded me with an atmosphere of bliss.”
-Photo by John Harrison