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Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Pheucticus ludovicianus


Overview: Rose-breasted Grosbeak: Large finch, black head, back, bright red breast, and white rump, sides, belly. The wings are black with white patches above and red, white, black below. Long, slightly notched black tail with white patches. Female has brown streaked upperparts, buff streaked underparts and yellow wing linings. Eats seeds, caterpillars, insects, tree flowers, fruits and berries. Breeding and Nesting: Three to five light green or blue eggs with red brown markings are laid in a loosely made nest of twigs, grass, and plant fibers, and set in a low tree branch. Incubation ranges from 13 to 14 days and is carried out by both parents. Foraging and Feeding: Rose-breasted Grosbeak: Diet consists of fruits, seeds, and insects. Forages on the ground; also hovers when gleaning from foliage. Readily Eats: Safflower, Apple Slices, Suet, Millet, Peanut Kernels, Fruit Vocalization: Call is a sharp, penetrating, and metallic "eek-eek."


Range and Habitat: Rose-breasted Grosbeak: Breeds from northeastern British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia to southern Alberta, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and New Jersey, and as far south as northern Georgia; regular visitor on the west coast and winters from central into northern South America. Preferred habitats include moist woodlands, open fields and old, overgrown orchards.


The Rose-breasted Grosbeak will mate with the Black-headed Grosbeak where the population densities of both species are low. The name “grosbeak” is from the French word grosbec and means “large beak.” Unlike most songbird species, the female is known to sing. A group of grosbeaks are collectively known as a "gross" of grosbeaks.

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Versailles, Kentucky, USA

Spotted on May 8, 2013
Submitted on May 9, 2013

Spotted for Mission

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