KALAMAZOO, MI-- Kalamazoo bird enthusiast Ray Adams was just sitting down to a dinner of beans and rice Monday night when he got the news that a blue grosbeak had been sighted near the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail Mile Marker 14.
Dinner was left to wait; Adams and his dinner guest were out of the door like a shot.
The species has not been seen in Kalamazoo County in 57 years.
When he arrived at the spot where Anne Pancella had spotted a single bird earlier in the day and alerted the Audubon Society of Kalamazoo's rare bird sighting list, Adams saw several other birders already there, with the same goal in mind.
It took about 35 or 40 minutes before someone heard the blue grosbeak's "very distinctive call note," Adams said. "We went up to where the sound was coming from," he said, and spotted the male bird on a dead tree. The birds like younger, weedy areas with smaller trees, Adams said, and will go to the ground quite readily searching for the seeds and insects that make up their diet.