Rose-Breasted Grosbeak 

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pheucticus Ludovicianus 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Breeding males have black head, wings, back, and tail, and a bright rose-red patch on its breast; wings have two white patches and rose-red linings. The underside and rump are white.

Nonbreeding males have largely white underparts, supercilium, and cheeks. The upperside feathers have brown fringes, and most wing feathers white ones, giving a scaly appearance. The bases of the primary remiges are also white.

Females have dark gray-brown upperparts, darker on the wings and tail, a white supercilium, a buff stripe along the top of the head, and black-streaked white underparts, which except in the center of the belly have a buff tinge. The wing linings are yellowish, and on the upperwing are two white patches like in the summer males.

Immatures are similar, but with pink wing-linings and less prominent streaks and usually a pinkish-buff hue on the throat and breast.

BILL: pale and very large triangular bill.

SIZE: measures about 7.1 - 8.3 inches in length, with a wingspan of 11.4 - 13 inches.

WEIGHT: weighs about 39 - 49 grams.

COLOR: black, white, rose-red, brown, buff and yellow.

Insects, seeds, buds, flowers, fruits and berries.

Open woodlands, near water, in thick shrubs, tall trees close to open areas, near marshes, in pastures, thick small trees’ plantations, at forest edges, in parks and gardens.

Southern and center Canada and the eastern US. Winters in Mexico and in northern parts of South America.

CALL: A weak metallic shrill “eek” or “kink”.

SONG: A liquid but often low-pitched. Male often sings during the flight display. Female sings too, but briefly and softer. Male sings from the nest when incubating or caring the young. It may sometimes sing at night.

NEST: Both male and female build a loose, open cup-shaped nest with coarse sticks, twigs, grasses, weed stems, decayed leaves, or straw, and line it with fine twigs, rootlets, or hair.

EGGS: 3 - 5 pale green to blue eggs, with reddish-brown or purplish speckles.

INCUBATION: 11 -14 days, both male and female.

NESTLING PHASE: 9 - 12 days.

They forage by moving through foliage of trees and shrubs, looking for food items. They also fly out from perches to snatch insects in mid-air, or hover while taking insects from the surface of a leaf or branch.

The oldest recorded Rose-breasted Grosbeak are two males, both were at least 12 years, 11 months old.


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