May 15, 2014 | Featured Web Article

Rose-breasted Grosbeak, a Welcome Backyard Visitor

A medium-sized songbird with a large, seed-crushing bill, the rose-breasted grosbeak spends the breeding season in deciduous woods across the northern portions of North America. It winters in the Neotropics.
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If you live in eastern North America, now is a great time to be watching for rose-breasted grosbeaks in your backyard. These colorful, cardinal-sized songbirds pass through backyards across the southeastern United States en route to their breeding grounds farther north. They spend the winters in the Neotropics and fly across the Gulf of Mexico each spring to breed.

If you live in the northern portions of North America, you may be lucky enough to host rose-breasted grosbeaks throughout the summer. These birds prefer mature deciduous forests for breeding. Learn to recognize the male's warbling, robin-like song »

Here is a video of a few rose-breasted grosbeaks chowing down at a feeding station in southern West Virginia in early May 2014. Grosbeaks eat black-oil and striped sunflower seeds at feeders.

Two male (center and far right) and one female (far left) rose-breasted grosbeaks at a backyard bird feeder in West Virginia.

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  • I live in Southeastern Massachusetts. Four "orphaned" very young poults (males) showed up in my yard about a year ago. They have been around all year. I do feed them cracked corn, and they come when I call for them. I don't want to over- domesticate them, but they do recognize me as the lady that brings food. They roost in the big oak trees at night. I have a 1 acre lot, with many acres of protected forest out back and a pond on the property.Lately, during mating season, I have had hens in the yard too. We've counted as many as 7 Toms and hens, but today, had just the one stalwart (a very robust Tom) that comes everyday. One of the Toms that has recently made an appearance is wounded, limping with an obvious predator wound. The local wildlife experts say he should make a full recovery, and that he's best left to recover with his flock.I find them to be interesting and beautiful birds.
    by Heather Cole, Mon, 06 Apr 2020
  • You have to put food in it.
    by Truckee Man, Mon, 06 Apr 2020
  • Love listeningto both songs and calls from birds in our woody neighborhood. The two types of birds I immediately recognize are the cardinals and the chickadees. Yesterday afternoon too, I heard a woodpecker. Then it’s time to check the birdfeeders and the birdbath. Then In no time at all the cardinals and chickadees arrive, as if they had been watching me. As it gets busier around the feeders, I also hear thé screeching of the blue jays. I even saw a couple of robins checking out our lawn....spring has arrived as the last pat gesofisticeerde snow and ice melt away.
    by louisabt, Sun, 08 Mar 2020
  • I am wondering about existing nests for Phoebes. I have two outdoor aisle entries to my barn and there are old Phoebe nests up. They ignore them each year and build new nests adjacent to the old, but space is running out. Should I knock down the old nests so they can rebuild?
    by [email protected], Sun, 02 Feb 2020
  • Just wondering, should we put anything in the bottom of the box...twigs, clippings, leaves....anything at all?
    by Hebb, Tue, 28 Jan 2020