Rose Breasted Grosbeak
While Rose Breasted Grosbeaks are common at bird feeders in some areas,
for others its a real treat. It was decades before this avid bird
watcher first saw one at the backyard feeder. The pretty, yet chunky
male is readily identifiable. At a quick glance, the rather plain female
can be easily mistaken for an overweight, slightly large sparrow. If
grosbeaks are in your area, fill a feeder with sunflower or safflower
seeds. Place wild berries in places where you can view the birds, and
you will be rewarded.
Rose Breasted Grosbeaks can be found from northeastern U.S., up into
eastern and central Canada. Grosbeaks are migratory birds, travelling
south to tropical areas in Central and South America in the winter.
Rose Breasted Grosbeak Identification:
The pretty and colorful male Rose Breasted Grosbeak grows to 7-8 inches long.
It has a wing span of 11-13 inches.
Mature males are readily identifiable by their black back and white
underbelly, with a bright rose-red on its breast. His head is solid jet
black. Females are less distinguishable, having a brown back streaked with
black, and a greyish yellowish underbelly streaked with dark brown.
have a white stripe over their eyes. Both the male and female have a
square tail. These birds have short, stout, pale, triangular beaks.
This grosbeak's song is similar to a robin.
Grosbeaks live in woodlands and at the edge of forests, including both
deciduous and conifer trees. They can be found in backyards and parks
that offer some trees and shrubs for both nesting and protection.
In the wild, the average lifespan of Rose Breasted
Grosbeaks is 12-13 years. Some grosbeaks have been known to live much
State Birds: Surprisingly,
grosbeaks are not
listed as the official state bird for ANY of the U.S. states!
Rose Breasted Grosbeak's Diet:
Grosbeaks eat a wide variety of insects, seeds and berries. Sunflower
and safflower seeds are their favorites. They also like peanuts. They consume a large amount of
berries in late summer and early fall, when they are most abundant.
Young hatchlings are fed mostly insects.
Reproduction and Nesting:
Rose Breasted Grosbeaks first mate in the spring. They may have 1-2
broods over the course of the season. The female does most of the nest
building. She will lay 3-5 pale green eggs, with reddish-brown spots.
The incubation period is 13-14 day. The male will sit on the nest some
of the time. Both parents will feed the young hatchlings a diet
consisting of largely insects. The young birds will leave the nest
about 9-12 days after hatching. The parents will continue to feed the
young birds for another several weeks.
Falcons, hawks, and owls are common predators.