The question most commonly asked of the naturalist during the past week is "What is the bird I just saw. It was larger than a sparrow and yellow with black wings and tail?" They might also add that it had white wing patches that showed conspicuously when it flew and a black crown.
It is the Western Evening Grosbeak, and they are very abundant in the high alpine meadows such as Paradise Valley at this time of the year.
It is likely that they are nesting in the alpine firs although as yet no one has reported finding one of the flimsy platforms which the Grosbeaks are satisfied to call home. In winter these beautiful birds migrate to the lower coast regions and are commonly found about the parks of Portland, Seattle, and other local cities.
This is one of the most richly colored of the grosbeaks and is the only one found in the park.
Yesterday the first chipping sparrow of the season was noted near Paradise Inn. A dainty little bird with a bright rufus crown patch, a cherry note and shy demur ways.
Yesterday also we saw a pair of Brewer blackbirds making themselves very much at home near some small ponds in the lower camp. This is the first time we have noted them in Paradise Valley although a few years ago a pair was seen at an even higher altitude in Glacier Basin on the north side.
Blue Birds, Robins, Sooty Grouse, Thrushes and several other birds has broods of young birds about at present. Recently the Naturalist was walking along a narrow ledge on the face of a steep ledge of rock. In putting his hand out to steady himself he almost touched a mother grouse with a covy of week-old young. She was not frightened and walked within a foot of her visitor in the course of rounding up her scattered covy. She had been resting with her brood on a tiny pocket of grass not ten feet from the day-time lounging place of two black bears. Next day the district ranger in covering the same ground "flushed" the two bears as well as the covy of grouse.
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