Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
8 inches (20 cm)
• Male: red triangle on white chest
• Black head and back
• White patches on wing
• Female: Brown with white eyebrow and two wing bars
• Large, conical, pale bill
• Rosy-red, triangular breast patch
• Black head and upperparts
• White underparts
• White patches in wing
• White spots in black tail
• Red wing linings
• Immature males similar to female but have some red on breast
• Black and white crown stripes
• White underparts with extensive streaking
• Dark gray upperparts
• Yellow wing linings
• Immature and nonbreeding plumages similar to adult female
• Juvenile like adult female but has buffier breast
• Female-plumaged Black-headed Grosbeak is very similar to female-plumaged Rose-breasted Grosbeak but has buffier breast and has streaking confined to the sides.
NESTING & FEEDING:
BREEDING: Deciduous forest, woodland, second growth. 1 or 2 broods. Mating system is monogamous.
DISPLAYS: Courtship: male sings in flight pursuit of female; male crouches, spreads and droops wings with tail spread and slightly elevated, retracts head with nape against back; male sings and waves head and body in erratic dance.
NEST: Loosely built of twigs, coarse plant material, lined with fine twigs, rootlets, hair. Cup shaped nest, 5-15 feet above the ground. Male may select site. Female builds nest with help from male.
EGGS: 3-5 pale green, blue, or bluish-green, marked with browns, purples; usually wreathed or capped. 1.0" (25 mm).
CHICK DEVELOPMENT: Both sexes incubate. Incubation takes 13-14 days. Development is altricial (immobile, downless, eyes closed, fed). Young leave the nest after 9-12 days. Both sexes tend young.
DIET: Insects, seeds, fruit, buds. Including some flowers. Occasionally gleans from ground.
CONSERVATION: Winters from c Mexico to n South America, but most abundant in n portion of range, most commonly in highlands. Common cowbird host. Popular cage bird in wintering range.
NOTES: Male sings from nest while incubating or brooding; occasionally sings at night. Female occasionally sings softer, shorter song than male. When double brooded, male cares for fledged young while female builds new nest. Females forage by hover gleaning more than males and tend to forage higher than males. Forms winter flocks of up to 20 in plantations, clearings.
Pheucticus ludovicianus ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK. Deciduous forest, woodland, second growth. From ne British Columbia, sw,sc Mackenzie, n Alberta and n Saskatchewan e across s Canada to s Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and s to c Alberta, s Saskatchewan, c N. and S. Dakota, c,se Kansas, e Wyoming, e Colorado, c Oklahoma, s Missouri, s Illinois, c Indiana, n Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware and s in Appalachians to n Georgia. Winters from se,sw Mexico s through C. America to w,n S. America s to Peru, and in w Cuba. Vagrant to w U.S.; a few summer and others winter in California. Hybridizes with P. melanocephalus in areas of overlap; sometimes regarded as conspecific.