Rose-breasted grosbeaks

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We’ve been excited to once again have migrating rose-breasted grosbeaks (Pheucticus ludovicianus) in the backyard. These three males seemed quite comfortable feeding among the other birds, including two cardinals.

3-male rose breasted-grosbeaks

The female is much plainer and looks entirely different from the male. Her heavy brown streaking reminds me of a large sparrow with a big beak.

female rose-breasted grosbeak

In contrast, the males are quite striking and easy to identify, with their contrasting black and white feathers and the brilliant rosy-red triangle that gives them their name.

male rose-breasted grosbeak

These birds spend the winter in Central and northern South America and are now headed north for the summer. We’ve enjoyed seeing them in the backyard every spring and occasionally in the fall for at least twenty years. And it’s always exciting to see them again.

14 thoughts on “Rose-breasted grosbeaks”

  1. Haven’t seen any at our feeders yet. I find the female to be such a good looking bird. Not showy, but so sturdy and handsome.

    1. Ann, I would never have thought of your description of the female as sturdy and handsome, however I agree and like it very much. Thanks.

  2. I think I have ‘bird envy’ ;-). What beautiful birds. Apparently they do make their way up to southern Ontario, and several have been spotted at ON backyard feeders already. Thanks to your lovely images Betty, if I see any I will know who they are, and if really lucky will hear them sing.

    1. Interesting, Marsha, that they’ve made it that far north already. Do hope you can see them.

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