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Rose breasted Grosbeak

Photo courtesy Powder Mill Bird Banding

Measuring about eight inches in length, the male Rose-breasted Grosbeak is an unmistakable bird. It has a black head, throat, neck, back, and tail. The wings are also black with small white wing patches. The underparts are white with a large triangular red patch on the breast. The rump is also white. The white bill is large and conical. In flight, the male’s pink underwings are easily seen. The female Rose-breasted Grosbeak looks like a large sparrow and is mostly brown above and whitish or yellowish below. The immature Rose-breasted Grosbeak is similar to the female. In the western edge of its range, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak may hybridize with the Black-headed Grosbeak, producing mixed offspring.

Diet: Insects, seeds, and fruit. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks can be attracted to feeders with sunflower seeds.

Range: The Rose-breasted Grosbeak breeds throughout the central and eastern United States and Canada, south to the Georgia Appalachians and west to southern Yukon Territory. Most remain east of the Rocky Mountains, though in migration, some Rose-breasted Grosbeaks may be found well west of their normal range in the United States. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak spends the winter in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and northern South America.

Habitat: Deciduous and mixed woodlands, woodland edges, wooded parks, orchards, gardens.

Status: The Rose-breasted Grosbeak remains common.

See video of a rose-breasted grosbeak.

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