Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
Pheucticus ludovicianus

Pheucticus ludovicianus Rose-Breaster Grosbeak

A male Rose-Breasted Grosbeak can easily be distinguish by its trademark red triangular patch on its breast.  Males also have black head, wings, and tail; irregular white patches on wings are typical.  Approximately 7-8″ in size (2).

Females are more difficult to distinguish as they look similar to  female purple finch, but larger in size (1).  Females have dark (brown/black) wings with brown streaks.  Look for white eye stripe and wing bars (stripes across wings) as distinguishing features on female (2). Note that immature Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks are similar in appearance to adult females (1).

Male Red-Breasted Grosbeak perched on a branch

These birds frequent suburban bird feeders, and prefer mixed woodlands with preference toward deciduous surroundings for natural foraging.  Sunflower seeds will keep these birds at your feeder; their heavy bills are well suited for cracking them (and other seeds) open.

1. Alden, P., Cassie, B. (1998). National Audubon Society Field Guide to New England. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, inc..

2. Reader’s Digest (1982). North American Wildlife. Pleasantville, N.Y.: Reader’s Digest Association

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