Rose-breasted Grosbeak
(scroll down for description)
lithograph, 10” x 8”, 1992

One of the most welcome sounds of spring and early summer is the cheerful warble of the rose-breasted grosbeak. When I lived in Ontario, I led naturalist hikes through the burgeoning life of a hardwood forest in May. The young leaves of the maples, oaks and beeches would still be in their delicate pastel hues. The carpet of spring flowers on the forest floor would be fading, and the air would be filled with song. Migrating warblers, vireos and thrushes would be practicing their vocal territorial claims. Of all the songs, the rose-breasted grosbeak stood out with happy exuberance. I would describe it to my fellow naturalists as a boisterous, tipsy robin.

In this original print, I have shown the male grosbeak later in the year, when the forest is dark and green. In spite of his spectacular plumage, he is seldom seen in the rich, leafy canopy.