Tag Archives: Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Female RBG on patrol

Rose-breasted Grosbeak female

Peekaboo, bird.

A female Rose-breasted Grosbeak watches us from a maple tree near the back deck and bird feeders. My husband was cooking dinner on the grill – a delicious chicken and sausage paella on the new Kamado Joe, in fact.

Some birds were bold enough to come to the feeders when we were a few feet away…

2 downy woodpeckers

A couple of dauntless downies, males, on either side of a cake of suet.


The grosbeak repositioned to the top of the blackberry arbor, but wouldn’t come closer for her dinner until we went inside.

These chunky birds use their stout bills to eat seeds, fruit, and insects. They are also frequent visitors to backyard bird feeders, where they eat sunflower seeds with abandon.

There have been a pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks visiting for a few weeks this summer, probably nesting nearby. I notice the male at the feeder much more often, but maybe because his flashy red and white chest makes him much more noticeable.

A pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks

Rose-breasted Grosbeak male

Rose-breasted Grosbeak puts in an appearance, yesterday evening around 7 p.m.

First sighting of the year.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak male

Bursting with black, white, and rose-red, male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are like an exclamation mark at your bird feeder or in your binoculars. Females and immatures are streaked brown and white with a bold face pattern and enormous bill.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak female

And right on cue, just before I blogged the male this morning the female appeared, around 6:45 a.m.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak female

These chunky birds use their stout bills to eat seeds, fruit, and insects. They are also frequent visitors to backyard bird feeders, where they eat sunflower seeds with abandon.

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks breed in eastern forests; you can find them among both deciduous trees and conifers. They are most common in regenerating woodlands and often concentrate along forest edges and in parks. During migration, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks frequent fruiting trees to help fuel their flights to Central and South America.


Welcome to your summer lands, RBGs!

This bird’s sweet, robin-like song has inspired many a bird watcher to pay tribute to it. A couple of early twentieth-century naturalists said it is “so entrancingly beautiful that words cannot describe it,” and “it has been compared with the finest efforts of the robin and… the Scarlet Tanager, but it is far superior to either.” Present-day bird watchers have variously suggested it sings like a robin that has had opera training, is drunk, refined, in a hurry, or unusually happy.

The new birds

immature Northern Cardinal

New bird at the feeder!

This finch-beaked fellow hanging out with the Downy Woodpecker appears to be an immature Northern Cardinal. Weirdly ratty tail feathers, but cardinal shaped otherwise. Dusky bill instead of red like the adults.

(Here are some great cardinal photos on phase.com.)


Not sure if it’s a male or female. I just started seriously watching birds this year, so this is my first batch of young ‘uns. They look different than their parents.

And they act different – tamer, less easily alarmed.

cardinal and grosbeak

And chummier with each other.

These two were pals for a while at the feeder. I thought the bird on the right, also a new visitor this morning, was a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak at first. But because of the red under the wing, I think it may be an immature male.

cardinal and grosbeak immature

Pretty markings.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak: Females and immatures are brown and heavily streaked, with a bold whitish stripe over the eye. Males flash pink-red under the wings; females flash yellowish.

immature rose-breasted grosbeak

Portrait of a little chow hound who has been at the feeder off and on all morning. Too hungry to bother that I was standing right next to it.

The food is Dodge’s Supreme Wild Bird Food, a blend of black oil sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, white millet, safflower, cracked corn, peanut hearts and granite grit, from our local Dodge’s Agway. Good stuff: always clean, dry and fresh.


I wonder if feeding these young birds’ parents this year helped with the success of their nesting and nurturing.

Welcome to our backyard, little bird friends.