This week we had the good fortune of encountering another LIFER on our birding list. And this time it was both a lifer for Curacao (discovered by colleague Henriette in the weekend of 9/10 November) and a lifer for us personally. This particular species has never been recorded for Curacao and this first time encounter was certainly a surprise.
Grosbeaks are irregular visitors to the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak being the species which is most regularly seen at the end of October and in November. There are several records of sightings of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak for Curacao, a few very rare ones for the Black-headed Grossbeak and none whatsoever for the Blue Grosbeak, until now.
Like all Grosbeaks, the Blue Grosbeak is family of the Northern Cardinal and is in the same family as buntings. There is huge difference between females and males as the males have a deep blue colour. The one on the photos is probably an immature bird.
We believe a small group of these birds is currently staying at the location the first bird was discovered as there are slight differences in between the photographed birds in the passed week, perched in between dense shrubs and trees or blending into the colour of dead palm leafs along the Golf course of Blue Bay.
“Blue Grosbeaks nest across most of the southern half of the United States and much of northern Mexico, migrating south to Central America and in very small numbers to northern South America; the southernmost record comes from eastern Ecuador. It eats mostly insects, but it will also eat snails, spiders, seeds, grains, and wild fruits. The blue grosbeak forages on the ground and in shrubs and trees.” Wikipedia
Meet the Blue Grossbeak or Blauwe Bisschop as this bird is called in Dutch.
This is probably a female or an immature male.
Before this record, this bird was only recorded once on Bonaire.