Bird Families

Dubonos - review


Greetings, comrades naturalists. Today we will introduce you to the feathered representative of the fauna of the Eurasian continent. Our story will focus on the grosbeak and how to successfully hunt for it.

No, this birdie does not carry oak trees, as you might think. Moreover, the feathered creature has nothing to do with the majestic tree. The animal got its name for its huge powerful beak. With them, the grosbeak easily splits the bones of various fruits, eating their contents with pleasure.

Our hero is considered a songbird, but most likely only he himself likes his singing. Perhaps females also value the vocal abilities of their gentlemen, but no more. Despite this, they love to keep the bird at home for its calm disposition, beautiful color and "royal" manners.

Dubonos has always aroused my interest in photography and hunting. My excitement was kindled by the stories of my friend ornithologist Sergei. He recalled how he and a friend argued during the ringing of the birds, who would go to pull the grosbeak out of the net. Each of the bird lovers was happy to concede such an honor to another.

And bird watchers can be understood. Imagine: a seemingly small, singing bird, in size and weight, practically does not differ from its relative, a sparrow (about 18 cm long, weight up to 30 grams). But the beak, the size of the head of the bird itself, does not forgive mistakes. One awkward movement - and it is no longer clear who caught whom. Judging by the way Sergei winced, recalling the "phantom" pains, the sensations from the bite were simply indescribable. So I was eager to get a closer look at this biter.

In Crimea, where I live, there are a lot of grosbeaks. The bird nests and hibernates with us. Only to see the gnarled beetle, like any other forest dweller, without binoculars is a difficult task, even for experienced bird watchers. There are a couple of tricks. They will help you not only to see the grosbeak, but if you have the right optics, it is a good idea to photograph it. So, open the notes and write them down.

Let's say right away that we discard the shooting near the nest. It is better not to undertake this without special knowledge. This is a very dangerous and delicate business. Dangerous, first of all, for the birds themselves. We need it: risk the lives of the chicks? We're not planning to write a dissertation? Moreover, there are more convenient and affordable options.

To see the gnarled, you need to think like a bone ... Although this is unlikely to help, so let's go the other way.

Summer in Crimea is hot and, as many nutritionists advise, you need to drink a lot. Dubonos are very sensitive to the recommendations of specialists. So the matter remains small. Find a place where they drink, or build such an artificial watering hole yourself. And in fact, and in another case, you need to know the biotope of the grosbeak (its habitat). Therefore, opening a pub in the city and luring our hero there is not an option: he will not arrive, but there is a risk of drinking himself. Dubonos is a forest bird, as we have already written. You need to look for a watering hole or build it in dense vegetation.

Also, not only sharp eyesight, but also hearing can help. Knowing the voices makes it much easier to find the right birds. The bird may avoid eye contact, but it will still give a voice, warning of your presence to its partner or chicks.

This concludes the first lesson. If you have questions like: “We found where they drink water, put a table with a sign“ Photo for memory. Inexpensive ”, and the bird does not fly. What to do? ”, Then read our next reports. We will definitely tell you how to conduct a successful "hunt" without risk for your photo models and with a result for you.

In the meantime, you can once again review and evaluate our photographs of the grosbeak. We managed to make them thanks to the approach and knowledge described above.

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Dubnos are super-beaked birds or Russian parrots :)

Why do we need Australian exoticism, if real "Russian parrots" live in our Russian forests. These are delightful grosbeaks, which I immediately called "super-beaked birds".

I bought a couple of grosbeaks at a bird show.

Of course, this is not a home-bred bird, but caught in nature. But there is no need to "rush with slippers" and be indignant about why the birds were caught, it is especially strange for me to always hear this from those who do not understand birds and their maintenance at home. IN captive satiety and warmth, forest birds can live TWICE LONGER than they would live on the street.

This has been proven by many years and even centuries of observations by ornithologists and birdwatchers. There are many cases that birds have lived in captivity for 6 or more years instead of 2-3 in the wild. But if not twice, then for a year or two at least the life of the bird increases. Of course, provided that the bird is caught young and healthy. If you catch a bird that has already lived in the wild for 2-3 years, even if you settle it in warmth and satiety, its life will not directly double.

But on the birds "it is not written" how old they are. The overwhelming majority of birds have a pronounced plumage of young animals, which just flew out of the nest and before the first molt, when the bird molts into its adult color. Then it is clear that the bird is young. And then it is not at all clear how old she is - 2, 3, 4 or more. This is especially true of any singing "small things".

So, back to the story about my grosbeaks. I saw them in nature, they flew to the trough in winter. It was only one winter, when we lived in an area remote from the city center, and there was a forest nearby. They do not like to live in the city center. They prefer the outskirts of the city, where there are private houses with fruit trees, forests, large squares, arboretums.

Seeing this miracle at the feeding trough, I could not even imagine that in a few years they would be living at my house.

The birds are incredibly colorful thanks to their huge beak. The differences between male and female are visible in the photo.


In Eurasia, it is distributed from the British Isles, the Atlantic coast and Scandinavia to the coasts of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and Japan, Kamchatka, the South Kuril and Japanese islands. Two isolated areas of the range are located in North Africa, as well as in the mountains of Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In most of European Russia, it is a common, in places not numerous, breeding migratory species. Most birds disappear from nesting areas at the beginning of winter. In a small number they regularly overwinter. In the Caucasus, they are common, they are found all year round. In autumn and winter months, the number can significantly increase due to birds from the northern parts of the range.


The bird belongs to the order of passerines, the family of finches.
Dubonos is the owner of an 18 cm body. The wingspan becomes 33 cm. Weight is 30 grams.
A distinctive feature of the grosbeak is its massive beak, which is painted gray-white. With such a tool as a beak, grosbeak perfectly open the seeds of berries.

The plumage contains: brown, brown, mustard colors - in males, and in females - a coloration of a calmer and more pastel color. The wings and tail are black. Females have a transverse stripe along the wings. A conditional black triangle is formed on the body of the grosbeak, which covers the eyes and the area under the beak - it looks very beautiful.

Interestingly, gubnose birds are both songbirds and non-songbirds at the same time. The fact is that their voice cannot be called melodic, it rather looks like a strange chirp, short in duration.

In the scientific community, it is customary to distinguish three subspecies of the common blues. So, we invite you to get acquainted.

Greenish gray grosbeak

This subspecies has a color distinction that manifests itself in the form of green on the wings, above the eyes and a little on the abdomen. The beak is gray-green. This bird is the carrier of a large, massive body, the length of which reaches 20 cm, weight 50-60 grams.

Large black-headed grosbeak

Rare. It has a large body and a massive head on which a large black beak is located. Weight 60 grams, length 20 cm. Lives in the south of Russia.

Lesser black-headed grosbeak

Distributed in the Primorsky Territory. The coloring on his head forms a female headdress - a bonnet. Body length 20 cm, weight 50 grams.

Goubonos lifestyle

These birds are fearful and careful. Therefore, they very rarely catch the eye of a person, in connection with which they were called invisible birds. Dubonos are excellent masters of disguise. They are able to "dissolve" in the air literally before our eyes.

They love to settle in apple orchards and on the edges of oak groves, hiding in the crowns of trees. They are characterized by phlegm and self-absorption. As noted above, they can sit motionlessly on a branch for a long time with almost no movement. With their caution, they are, if necessary, brave enough and can stand up for themselves. With their inherent beauty and unpretentiousness, as well as relatively quick addiction to a person, they are rarely contained in home cages. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the grosbeaks are persistently hiding from prying eyes.

These beautiful creatures are also notable for their unusual musical singing. Especially often their sounds are heard in spring. Their urges are distinguished by a quiet rattling abruptness, sometimes similar to a chirp. Their life expectancy is on average no more than five years.

The voice of the grosbeak can hardly be called melodic. Usually a bird makes only one sound from its massive beak: "chik-chik". Birds sing rarely, avoiding song even during the mating season.


The diet of the common grosbeak is largely due to their unusual beak, which they use to bite through the sturdy seeds of cherries, plums and bird cherries. With his beak, he cleverly splits them and takes out the core.

Also in the menu of the Dubonos there are:

  • Rowan,
  • Elder,
  • Hornbeam, maple, thistle seeds,
  • Sunflower seeds,
  • Peas,
  • Beech nuts,
  • Young buds and shoots of trees.

Flocks of grosbeaks are capable of causing great harm to man's orchards and vegetable gardens. They are able to destroy the entire crop of peas, which they deftly hull from the pods.

In summer, animal food appears on the bird menu - caterpillars, May beetles, spiders, butterflies. They get insects from the crowns of trees, on which they spend almost all their time. They can also catch insects on the fly. Glubinos are real orderlies of trees, eating harmful insects on its crown.


Sexual activity develops gradually following the course of spring. The first birds were seen singing in January, but the real buzz is in April. The construction of nests in the common grosbeak begins in the second half of May and continues until mid-June (for different pairs). Birds arrange nests in the middle and upper layers of the stand. The nest is a deep calyx with loose walls and bottom.

Nest diameter 200-220 mm, nest height 80-100 mm, tray diameter 70-80 mm, tray depth 40-50 mm. It is usually woven from twigs, roots and other building material. The outer layer is made of rough twigs. The litter consists of a small amount of dry grass stalks, fine roots and horsehair. The ratio of these materials in different nests can vary greatly. Mass oviposition takes place in May.

The clutch consists of 3-7, more often 4-5 eggs of a pale yellowish or grayish-green color with rather sparse dots, spots and curls of violet-gray and blue. A speckled rim is often visible at the blunt end. The duration of incubation (mainly by a female) is 14 days. The male sits on the nest only during the flight of the female for feeding. While the mate sits on the nest, the male feeds her and guards the nest.

The brood is taken care of by both parents. Chicks stay in the nest for 11-14 days. In July, both fledglings and well-flying chicks are found. Grubbers feed their chicks mainly with insects, later they switch to vegetable food. The flight takes place in the second half of August - early September. It seems unlikely that the Gubnose grows twice a year.

Ordinary grosbeak: keeping at home

Its distribution area is quite wide. It covers vast territories from the British Isles to Japan itself. But these birds are rarely found in the northern and northeastern territories. This means that in the Scandinavian countries they can hardly be found.

This is a very beautiful bird. The plumage of the male is brown-brown, with a reddish tinge. There is a beautiful gray-orange “scarf” on the neck. A white stripe runs along its black wings, and its black tail has a white ending. The color of the beak can change: in winter - fawn, the rest of the year - bluish-gray. Like most birds, the female grosbeak is not so beautiful. It looks dimmer, and there is a transverse pattern on the lateral surface of the body and on the head.

This variety can be kept at home. Bird lovers are attracted by their beautiful and unusual coloration. The lifespan of a gubnose living in a cage is long enough, and it is tamed relatively quickly. A spacious cage is required to contain it. Dwellings made of wooden rods are unacceptable for this bird, since it can easily bite them with its powerful beak. They always need access to clean, fresh water.

Diet of domestic gannets:

  • flax and oat seeds,
  • sunflower seeds,
  • berries (sea buckthorn, bird cherry, viburnum, wild rose, mountain ash),
  • pits of cherry, bird cherry and cherry,
  • vegetables and fruits (cucumbers, apples),
  • branches with spring buds (especially from fruit trees).

Fine gravel, sand and chalk should be given for good digestion.