The Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Pheucticus ludovicianus, is a large seed-eating bird in the cardinal family.
The adult is 19 cm long and weighs 47 g. It has dark upperparts, white underparts and a large pale bill. The adult male has a black head, wings and upperparts and a bright rose-red patch on its breast; the wings have white patches and rose red linings. The adult female has dark grey upperparts, a white stripe over the eye, streaked underparts and yellowish wing linings.
The song resembles a more refined version of the American Robin's. The call is a sharp pink.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak's breeding habitat is open deciduous woods across most of Canada and the eastern United States. Northern birds migrate to southern Mexico south through Central America to Peru and Venezuela in winter. The species occurs as very rare vagrants to western Europe.
Misguided fire prevention policies have created habitat on the Great Plains, thereby allowing the Rose-breasted Grosbeak to extend its range westwards. Increased hybridization with the Black-headed Grosbeak subspecies Pheucticus melanocephalus papagopalpago is a lapsus in Rhymer & Simberloff (1996). has been recorded as a consequence.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak forages in shrubs or trees for insects, seeds and berries, also catching insects in flight. In the winter quarters, they can be attracted into parks, gardens, and possibly even to bird feeders by fruit like Trophis racemosa. It builds a twig nest in a tree or large shrub.
Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
(2007): The potential of fruiting trees to enhance converted habitats for migrating birds in southern Mexico. Bird Conservation International 17(1): 45-61. PDF fulltext
(2003): Birds of Venezuela. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5
(1996): Extinction by hybridization and introgression. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 27: 83-109. (HTML abstract)
(1989): A guide to the birds of Costa Rica. Comistock, Ithaca. ISBN 0-8014-9600-4
Rose-breasted Grosbeak by John Audubon
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Rose-breasted Grosbeak South Dakota Birds and Birding
Rose-breasted Grosbeak USGS Patuxent
Rose-breasted Grosbeak eNature.com
Stamps with RangeMap
Rose-breasted Grosbeak videos on the Internet Bird Collection
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Rose-breasted Grosbeak