A Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Rose-breasted Grosbeaks. We have also put together a list of fun Rose-breasted Grosbeak t-shirts, Rose-breasted Grosbeak bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird watching items.
About Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is commonly known as the purple-breasted Grosbeak. This bird is a member of the cardinal family and mainly feeds on seeds. This species can be found in the northern regions of America. Their habitual preference is forested. The bird forms a crucial piece of the forest ecosystem as they consume destructive insects such as grasshoppers, caterpillars, and moths. This bird has an average life expectancy of eight years in the wild while domesticated birds live for an average of 15 to 18 years.
Description and Identification
The plumage of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks varies vastly from males to females. These birds have
earned their name due to the distinct and brightly colored breasts of the males. Males also have
uniquely colored vivid black-and-white feathers which add to their beauty. Females are much
duller with a brown-and-white plumage with a characteristic buffy stripe across the top of their
eyes. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are 7.1 inches long with a wingspan of 11-13 inches. Both males
and females are of the same size. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks have dark eyes and feet, and horn-
colored beaks. The nonbreeding plumage of male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks is not as bright as
their breeding plumage. Females are often mistaken for female black-headed grosbeaks in the
U.S. and Canada. Although they can be differentiated on closer examination — female rose-
breasted grosbeaks have darker brown stripes on their underparts and they have pinkish bills.
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks have a very pleasant and mellow warbling song. Their call is a sharp
pick or pink.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Appearance
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak has a wealth of descriptors. A breeding adult male is characterized as having a black head with a bright rose-red triangular patch on its chest. The wings on this male have white patches and rose-red linings. This particular male bird has a mostly white belly and rump. The rump may have some dark markings.
The non-breeding male has a similar appearance to the breeding male. The most notable distinction is the appearance of buff tips on the feathers. Another distinction is that his chest is pale pink. An immature male resembles the female but has a rosy patch on his chest.
The female Rose-breasted Grosbeak has a duller plumage with a dark brownish color. The neck of the female is cream with narrow black streaks.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Size
This bird species has an average length of 7 to 9 inches. They have an average wingspan of 1o to 12 inches. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak weighs 54 grams.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Food
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks eat a variety of insects, wild fruits, and seeds during the breeding season.
Berries are their staple foods while migrating in autumn, and they eat more animal matter such as
invertebrates in winter. These birds are foliage gleaners who consume their food while perched
atop foliage or branches. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks also eat insects midair and are also known to
snag their food while hovering. Animal matter eaten by these birds includes moths, butterflies,
elderberries, bugs, and sawflies. The plant-based food consumed by these Rose-breasted
Grosbeaks include milkweeds, sunflower seeds, peas, oats, tree flowers, wheat, foxtail, pigweeds,
blackberries, and raspberries.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Habitat
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks inhabit a variety of different habitats. The breeding habitats of these
birds in the US and central Canada are semi-open habitats, deciduous-coniferous forests, thickets, and
moist deciduous forests. Other habitats frequented by these birds are gardens, parks, orchards,
and suburban areas. During migration, these birds inhabit shrub thickets, shrubby dune ridges,
urban areas, wetlands, and primary secondary forests. In winter their habitats are located in
Central and South America in elevations up to 11,000 feet.
Range and Migration
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are beautiful and colorful birds that reside in northern North America.
The range of these birds begins in British Columbia and extends to Kanas and Nebraska. During
winter these birds can be found throughout northern South America and Central America. Rose-
breasted Grosbeaks are rare vagrants to Europe.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Behavior
The Rose-breasted Grosbeaks prefer to nest in scrub woodland. They build their nests out of twigs and grasses. The female handles the construction of nests with assistance from the male.
The female lays an average of 3 to 5 eggs each season. The eggs are incubated by both the male and female for 10 to 12 days. Young chicks are looked after by both the male and female.
Rose-breasted Grobeak Nesting
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks form pairs during spring when females accept the mating calls of the
males. Males are aggressively territorial — they use various vocalizations to defend their territory
and to seek females. Males use a number of elaborate courtship flight displays to impress females.
These displays can also be aggressive in nature. In May, these birds begin the process of building
their nests. Female Rose-breasted Grosbeaks lay about 1-5 eggs which need to be incubated for about 11-14 days. These birds only raise one brood annually. Younglings are dependant on their
parents for about 3 weeks after hatching.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak T-shirts
If you love the Rose-breasted Grosbeak you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Rose-breasted Grosbeak. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.