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June 1, 2013 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Rose-breasted Grosbeak

A few weeks ago a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak stopped at my backyard feeders. They are migratory birds and I usually see a few of them in my yard in the spring. They live mostly in the deciduous and mixed forests but are tolerant of people and will sometimes stay in parks and gardens. Last year I watched a pair build a nest on a golf course.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

This is the male. The female looks dramatically different resembling a large sparrow with a big white eyebrow and streaky breast. I’ve never had a female stop at my feeders and when I see them in the forest they are difficult to photograph.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

After sampling what I was offering in the tray feeder, Mr. Grosbeak moved on to the sunflower seeds where he happily ate until a noisy Blue Jay showed up and chased him away.

Interesting Facts:

  • The name “grosbeak” is from the French word grosbec and means “large beak.”
  • This is a fairly common bird in eastern and central North America and if you have feeders in your yard you might catch a glimpse of them.
  • The male has a beautiful song which is similar to the American Robin. If you hear what sounds like a robin that took singing lessons, it might be a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
  • The females are a brown color resembling a large sparrow or finch.


Saturday Snapshot was originated by Alyce at At Home With Books. For the summer it will be hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.

© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. laurelrainsnow / Jun 1 2013 8:49 am

    Beautiful! I love the astonishing splash of red against the white. Thanks for sharing…and here’s MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST


  2. Nise' (Under the Boardwalk) / Jun 1 2013 9:38 am

    I have been able to recognize birds because of your information filled posts! They are lovely.


  3. Jackie / Jun 1 2013 9:51 am

    Typical the male bird is always more beautiful!! And those blue jays are so pushy.
    Great photos@


    • Leslie / Jun 2 2013 1:10 am

      This jay was really bossy. He considers the tray feeder his personal property!


  4. Arti / Jun 1 2013 10:04 am

    Beautiful photos. According to the map, they are here in Alberta too. But I haven’t seen this kind of Grosbeak. I’d a female Pine Grosbeak in my backyard last winter, in deep minus temp too.


    • Leslie / Jun 2 2013 1:26 am

      I took a look at ebird, which lists the sightings, and while they are in Alberta, there isn’t a large population.The nice thing about ebird is that it will give you the actual date and place the bird was seen.


  5. Pat @ Posting For Now / Jun 1 2013 10:19 am

    Interesting colors! Great photos! Thanks!


  6. Suko / Jun 1 2013 12:48 pm

    These photos are remarkable! Absolutely outstanding!


  7. Susan / Jun 1 2013 12:57 pm

    Don’t those grosbeaks have a wonderful song ?!? Love having them pass through!


    • Leslie / Jun 2 2013 1:34 am

      I always describe their song as like a robin who had singing lessons. It’s so fluid and melodic.


  8. Wrighty / Jun 1 2013 1:29 pm

    I always learn so much when I visit here! You take such beautiful photos. You should save them in an album or photo book for others to enjoy too!


    • Leslie / Jun 2 2013 1:40 am

      Thanks! I do occasionally enter them in contests and maybe someday I’ll put together a bird book.


  9. Beth Hoffman / Jun 1 2013 11:40 pm

    One of my favorites … such a gorgeous bird!


  10. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea / Jun 2 2013 7:29 am

    These are so adorable – thanks for the background info as well.


  11. Paulita / Jun 2 2013 10:27 am

    Your bird posts are always fascinating. We had a run-in with a blue jay last week when my husband tried to save his fledgling that fell in the street. Then my cat decided to help too. The blue jays attacked the cat for a week. I thought his summer would have to be spent indoors, but the fledglings seem to have learned how to fly and the cat is not being tormented by the parents any more.


  12. WordsAndPeace / Jun 2 2013 4:15 pm

    I remember the first time i spotted that bird, in Iowa, that was a amazing moment. a couple of years ago we had some at our feeder, along with indigo bunting, since then nothing that exciting


  13. Louise / Jun 3 2013 6:39 am

    Informative as always- this week a bird I’ve never seen before, but he’s such an attractive little fellow.


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