Rose breasted grosbeak
This large songbird is a showstopper when they show up at backyard bird feeders. The males plumage is a striking combo of red white and black. Males are identified by their black head and back, white underside and a bright red chevron patterned patch of feathers on their chest trailing down to their bellies. Like most sexually dimorphic species, females have a drabber appearance that consists of a mottled dark brown back and head with striking white eyebrows, their bellies are a pale cinnamon with dark brown streaking that is condensed near the chest area. Their beaks are thick and conical which is perfect for cracking open seeds, it is light in both sexes while the females is a lighter pink while males is more of an ivory color. To top off this flashy plumage they both have a splash of color under their wings, males are a pinkish red and females have a yellowish tinged patch.
Found throughout eastern North America they will also migrate down into central and parts of South America. This songbird calls woodlands and forests in their range home. Commonly found in deciduous woods, forest edges and semi open woods, when they migrate into the tropics for the winter they choose woods in lowlands and foothills. These habitats are perfect for foraging for their preferred diet of insects, berries and seeds. Insects that they commonly prey upon are beetles, ants, spiders, caterpillars, grasshoppers, etc. Their strong bills are also excellent for eating a variety of seeds including foxtails, milkweed, pigweed, etc, and berries that are available during the seasons like raspberries, mulberries and elderberries.
Common name: Rose breasted grosbeak
Scientific name: Pheucticus ludovicianus
Conservation status: Least concern
Estimated population: Breeding population of about 4.1 million
Wingspan: 29 to 33 cm
Weight: 39-49 grams
Distribution: Eastern North America down into central and South America
Habitat: Woodlands and forests
Diet: Insects, berries and seeds
Main threats: Habitat loss
Eggs: 1-5 pale green with reddish brown speckles.
Nest Style: Cup made from sticks and grasses.
Random Rose Breasted Grosbeak Facts:
They build their nests very flimsy, sometimes you can even see the eggs from underneath the nest.
The oldest recaptured rose breasted grosbeak was at least 12 years and 11 months old.
The rose breasted grosbeak is known to hybridize with the black-headed grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus) where their ranges overlap.
Both the male and female sing.