Eric is an amateur birder and photographer who is amazed by the natural world just about every day.
The Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
The migration of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak may go unnoticed by some northerners. Many of us in the cooler climes of North America celebrate the arrival of the first American Robin each spring. But there is another visitor who comes on the heels of the Robin, one you might miss if you aren’t paying attention.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a true harbinger of spring, a traveler from a tropical land, and when it returns from its winter grounds we can be assured the warm weather is right behind it. Some people may not know the name of this black-and-white bird with the red patch on its chest, but it is one of the prettiest and best-traveled songbirds in North America.
This bird spends the snowy season in Mexico and Central America, and some even find their way to the Caribbean, but in the springtime they return to their temperate breeding grounds.
In the summer they spend much of their time looking for insects, but if you keep an eye out you will see them at your bird feeder as well. In fact, if you take take some simple steps to make your backyard more bird-friendly you should see the them coming around quite often.
In this article you'll find some interesting facts about the Rose-breasted Grosbeak, as well as pictures to help to identify males and females, information on the Rose-breasted Grosbeak migration, and tips for attracting them to your backyard.
Male and Female Identification
The male and female of the species look like two very different types of birds. Both are about eight inches tall, and both with heavy bills, but there the similarities begin to wither.
The male dons a vibrant black-and-white plumage with a bright red spot on his chest, while the female is more subdued shades of brown and white. Non-breeding males, too, are brown and white, with just a hint of the rose coloring on their chest.
During the overwinter period both sexes appear as drab versions of their summer selves.
Attracting the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak to Your Yard
As an insect-eater, this bird most often finds its dinner while hunting in the branches of trees. It loves big-bodied insects like beetles, caterpillars, gypsy moths, and grubs, but its heavy beak is made for munching up foods much tougher than the average bug. It will consume a wide variety of seeds found throughout its natural range and will be happy to check out what you’re offering in your feeder.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak will be a shy but reliable visitor to your bird feeder in the summer months. Serve high-quality black-oil sunflower seeds in a good mix and you’ll see these guys coming around in no time. This is a bird that falls somewhere between the small and medium-size range, so platform and hopper feeders are optimal and will allow it easy access to the seed.
However, it can manage with tube feeders intended for smaller perching birds when necessary, and (at least in my backyard) has shown a fair aptitude for problem-solving when it can’t quite get to the seed it wants.
Since it is such a timid species, consider posting several feeders in order to alleviate congestion and encourage it to come in for seed. Once it discovers a reliable seed source it will be back repeatedly.
Like many songbird species, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak will happily make use of water features such as a birdbath.
Take care to note the female when she visits, as her coloring may cause you to misidentify her at first.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianusis) is a member of the Cardinal family (Cardinalidae) and subdivided to the genus Pheucticus. Like the Northern Cardinal, it is a passerine or perching bird, what we more often think of as a songbird. Despite the relative rarity of sightings as compared to its Cardinal cousin, it is not a threatened species and is fairly abundant throughout its range.
This “grosbeak” designation can be a bit befuddling. Some misidentify this bird as a member of the finch family (Fringillidae). Indeed, they do look somewhat like large finches, particularly the females and non-breeding males. But this designation is not technically correct. There are a few species referred to as “grosbeak” within the finch family, but the Rose-breasted Grosbeak and its direct relatives are not among them.
There are several different grosbeaks of the Cardinal family throughout North America, and each occupies its own niche in different geographical areas.
The Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak at a Bird Feeder
Other Grosbeaks and Related Species
As mentioned above, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak is not closely related to finches but is in fact a member of the Cardinal family. This makes it kin to the widely known Northern Cardinal as well as more obscure species such as the Pyrrhuloxia (Desert Cardinal) of Mexico and Southern Texas, the Dickcissel of the central United States, and the various Bunting species found in North America.
Other relatives include:
- Black-headed Grosbeak: A bird that is common to the western parts of the United States during breeding months, and overwinters in Mexico. Because of overlapping territories in some areas of the Great Plains, interbreeding sometimes occurs between Rose-breasted and Black-headed Grosbeaks.
- Blue Grosbeak: A beautiful deep-blue colored bird, distinguished from the related Indigo Bunting by its heavy bill. This bird is common to the south-central and southeastern parts of the United States and shares an overwintering area with the Rose-breasted Grosbeak in Mexico and Central America.
Habitat and Nesting
Deciduous forests and mixed woodlands are preferred habitat during the summer months, but the Rose-breasted Grosbeak also does well in rural areas with sporadic human habitation. Backyard feeders are helpful, but due to its diverse diet, this bird can do just fine regardless of human influence.
As a migratory bird, the extra calories from bird feeders can help to build energy reserves for the long flight south as well as provide easy sources of sustenance along the way.
In its summer habitat, it will build a nest made primarily of twigs. Woodlands with a stream or field nearby are common nesting sites, with a fair buffer between the nest and human habitation. Swampy areas are often preferred above dry forests. The nest may be several feet off the ground or as high a fifty feet.
Breeding males first establish a territory, often returning to the same area each year. They then attract a female with their bright red breasts and striking black-and-white contrast, and the pair remains together for the duration of the season. The male will help with the construction of the nest and even do his part for the incubation of the eggs, giving the female a reprieve from time to time.
A clutch of three to five eggs will hatch out in about 13 days, and within two weeks the chicks will leave the nest. Like most birds, they’ll follow their parents around for a little while until they get the hang of things.
Migration and Overwintering
In the summer (breeding) months the Rose-breasted Grosbeak will spend its time in the North American forests and scrublands, with a range throughout much of the Northeastern part of the continent. The males will arrive in mid-spring and are soon followed by the females a few weeks later.
This is the time for those of us in the North to spot this busy traveler while we can. It only stays in its northern range for short periods of time, perhaps only three months in some areas, possibly as long as five in its southern breeding range.
By September it is time to fly south for the winter again, on a return trip that allows it to avoid the cold weather. It’s a pretty smart bird when you think about it!
For the overwinter period the Rose-breasted Grosbeak will settle into the tropical regions of southern Mexico, the Caribbean, South and Central America. During the winter it prefers forests and may flock in loose groups. They will consume fruits and nectars as a larger percentage of their food sources, in addition to the usual seeds and insects. While somewhat territorial in their breeding territory, they are much more tolerant of each other in their winter grounds.
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak Frequently Asked Questions
Learn more about this amazing bird!
Are Rose-breasted Grosbeaks rare?
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is not a rare or endangered songbird. Though it experienced a 35% decline between 1966 and 2015, it maintains a global breeding population of 4.1 million. However, RBGs are migratory birds and, depending on where you live, they may or may not be a rare sight.
Where do Rose-breasted Grosbeaks live?
Deciduous and coniferous forests, semi-open fields, shrubs and thickets, parks, gardens, and orchards are all prime habitat for the Rose-breasted Grosbeak. They thrive in suburban areas as well. Geographically, RGBs live in the northeastern parts of the United States as well as much of Canada in the summer and overwinter in Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean.
How do you attract Rose-breasted Grosbeaks?
A simple birdfeeder with medium to large perches is all it takes to attract the Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Stock sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, fruit, and nuts, and they will be frequent visitors. They may even decide to nest nearby if you include low vegetation and a water feature such as a birdbath in your yard.
What does the Rose-breasted Grosbeak eat?
In the wild, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks eat a variety of foods. They eat insects such as beetles, ants, moths, sawflies, and bees. They enjoy fruits such as blackberries, raspberries, elderberries, and mulberries and seeds from sunflowers, foxtail, wheat, and milkweed among others.
Are grosbeaks aggressive?
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is not typically aggressive at feeders. They get along with other birds and others of their kind. However, during the mating season, both males and females may display aggressive behaviors toward rivals that enter their territory. They will also mob other birds or predators that attempt to invade their nest.
Is the Rose-breasted Grosbeak a finch?
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is not a finch, although the female looks like one. Grosbeaks are classified within the genus Pheucticus, which is in the family Cardinalidae—the Cardinal family. This means the Rose-breasted Grosbeak is more closely related to the Northern Cardinal than it is finches.
The Long Flight South
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is an interesting and enigmatic voyager, a visitor from another world here in our part of the country for a short time each year before it moves along and forgets all about us. Like the migration of the Robins, when the day comes that you realize these birds are no longer coming around you know that winter is on the way. Unlike us, they have the common sense to leave with the summer and follow the warm weather south.
So, as the snow starts to fall, and the temperatures plummet, imagine the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks you observed over the past summer. While you shiver, they bask in the sun. While you shovel, they enjoy tropical fruits and nectar. While you curse the snow, the sleet, and the freezing rain, they are bathed by warm showers and ocean breezes.
On second thought, maybe it’s better not to think about it. It’s far too depressing to be jealous of a bird!
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks in Your Backyard
Resources and References
As usual, the following resources were indispensable in creating this article. Check them out to learn more about the Rose-breasted Grosbeak and other songbirds. :
AnthonyTheodore on May 24, 2020:
I have had several RBGs every year from spring through early fall between Kingston and Ottawa in eastern Ontario, today's number increased with four females and three males observed spending much time throughout the day from early morn to dusk at my multi-feeder feeding station that can accommodate all of them at same time plus some other species such as the Black Capped Chickadees and White Breasted Nuthatches, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers. They will soon be presenting with their first broods of fledglings, initially bringing them to the feeding station and feeding them for three or fours days after which time the young ones will have feeding figured out for themselves. The food on offer includes a mix of striped and black oil sunflower seed, with a blend of nuts including almond, brazil, cashew, filbert, peanut, pecans, pistachio, walnut, most of which I take the time to slice into smaller bite size portions adding to a ratio of two thirds sunflowers (50-50 mix black oil & striped) to one third nuts. Once the broods of fledglings appear some two dozen will make this home to migration in early fall. Never a dull moment, and apart from the occasional dominance being exhibited by certain mature females there is harmony among all the birds, including tolerance of other species.
Eric Dockett (author) from USA on May 19, 2020:
@Marion - They do seem to let people get fairly close.
Marion Klish on May 18, 2020:
I have a female rose grosbeak that has been sitting on the ground or on the rocks for a week now . I can go up to her a talk to her . I have only seen her fly away twice. Is this normal ?
Judyb on May 16, 2020:
2019 had only one RBG for a short time, this past week May 12-15,2020 we had 4 males at our feeders, have not seen them since but I’m hoping they come back. Also have 3 prs of Orioles and toda May 16 saw my first male Hummingbird at it’s feeder
Eric Dockett (author) from USA on May 15, 2020:
@Mark - Sounds like they may be immature males.
Mark Hostettler on May 14, 2020:
This spring I have noticed an increase in the number of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at my feeders. At times I have 8-10 males at my feeder. In the past to see 2 was rare, normally just 1 at a time. I have also noticed some of the males have brown tail feathers and faint pink on the breast. I am just wondering if that is normal, the light colors?
Dwipe on May 13, 2020:
We have had as many as 10 to 12 male grosebeaks on our feeder over the past 2 weeks in WV. Maybe 6 to 8 females.
Cindy Brodnax on May 12, 2020:
Wow - I spotted the male RGB on the rim of my hanging water bowl on the morning of 5-11-2020 and later in the early evening when I was outside hand watering & refilling my bird baths. My first time & was so impressed by his markings I tried to identify with my ‘Birds of Texas’ book, although I had better luck with the internet! I kept a look out for him all day today and never saw him. I noticed (upon learning & reading about the RGB with this webpage) that there were no comments from Texas, so I thought I would post my sighting!! Rockwall, TX is 20 miles east of Dallas. Keeping my fingers crossed I will have the pleasure of watching him again❣️
Colleen on May 12, 2020:
I’ve been waiting for a couple of weeks for them to make an appearance here in Michigan I had the first male show up tonight. I love them.
Cathy on May 12, 2020:
Spotted our first ever RBG (male) on our feeder this morning in Houston, TX.
Kate on May 11, 2020:
We've had the RGBs for many years always this week! I saw the first male three days ago, then two males yesterday, then today THREE males and one female! They usually don't stay longer than a couple of weeks, but I'm sure glad they return each year!!
Lori on May 11, 2020:
So far we have four males and 2 females. The males seem to fight a bit with our Baltimore orioles (we have four males). Last night a bear or bears tore down our entire bird feeding station. The grosbeaks are now using our window mounted feeder where before only the Tufted Titmouse did. We live in the Lehigh Valley in PA
Deborah on May 10, 2020:
Saw my first male today at my feeder...hope to see a female soon.
Judy on May 10, 2020:
First male sighted May 9 in Nova Scotia.
Rochelle on May 10, 2020:
I have 4 pair this year...they are beautiful...this is the first year I really noticed the females...I feed mixed seeds ...sunflowers seeds and sunflower hearts and suet...
Betsy on May 09, 2020:
I live in York South Carolina. Have 3 males. No females yet. First male came May 3. Two more joined him today may 9. When do the females come??
Joanne Young on May 09, 2020:
For the first time, a male showed up at our feeder this morning. Will watch for others and hope to see other males and females soon. We have a lot of cardinals at our property all year round and pleased to see a species we never saw before.
CallMeChaz on May 09, 2020:
We live in New Hope, TN, just west of the narrow range for RBG's. We are thrilled that several pairs have been hanging around our feeder for the last three weeks! It would be wonderful to find they are going to nest here. Perhaps their range is spreading a bit as their populations build up. Considering how long they have been around, I'm thinking they are not just migrating through!
Gail Colbeth on May 08, 2020:
We are fortunate enough to have attracted 5 males 1 female so far at our feeder here in the Poconos.
Such a beautiful sight especially in our flowering crabapple tree!
Mike of Vernon NJ on May 08, 2020:
I watching 6 or 7 males and a female, now a Cardinal joined at the bird feeder.
Pennie Freet on May 08, 2020:
We are so very happy to report that we woke up last weekend with 4 Rose Breasted Grosbeaks at our feeders, along with our first hummingbird for the summer season; and then 2 pair of the Northern Orials AKA Baltimore Orial, came by and have been enjoying the bits of fruit that we put for them. Today, i was able to identify 2 grosbeak females enjoying the seeds in the feeder. So blessed that it seems like they are all here to stay for awhile!!! Along with a bluebird couple taking up residence in our box the we provided for them. Keep on watching! Even during this stay at home time, our adult daughter is learning to appreciate the beauty of the songbirds.
Gwen on May 08, 2020:
Forgot to say that I am in Columbia, South Carolina in my post about the females still being here and the males have all disappeared.
Gwen on May 08, 2020:
Have had male and female grosbeak’s at my feeder’s for about six weeks now. Over the last week all the males have disappeared and I only see females now. What has happened to all the males?
Rick on May 08, 2020:
2 males showed up in southern Indiana yesterday (5/7) and have been on the feeders fairly constantly; one prefers the berry suet, the other likes the black oil sunflower seeds.
Karen on May 08, 2020:
Just saw one male in the backyard in Middletown OH, beautiful.
We have tracked them since 2016, always in May.
D Cox on May 08, 2020:
Have had them the last couple of years here. Right now 2 males and 2 females. Shawnee, KS
Darlene on May 07, 2020:
We just saw on our feeder in Galloway, NJ. Amazing, beautiful bird. Thank God for the internet to identify it
Patricia on May 07, 2020:
Several Orioles, 3 male grosbeaks and one grayish hummingbird showed up in Anderson, Ind. four days ago. They all appeared together. What a beautiful sight
Eric Dockett (author) from USA on May 07, 2020:
Thanks to everyone who is reporting their sightings. I love reading them! I spotted the first female of the season at my feeder over the weekend, and finally saw a male yesterday. They were probably here earlier but I hadn't put up my big feeder until a few days ago so they weren't coming around.
K. C. on May 06, 2020:
There were two males at our feeders on May 4th in Boiling Springs, SC.
Alesa on May 06, 2020:
I saw two at my feeder for the first time this morning in Marietta, Ohio.
JulieG on May 05, 2020:
First time for me! 2 Males and 3 females at feeder in Given,WV starting 5/4. I usually don’t feed this late so I didn’t know what I was missing! Beautiful bird!
M Kuhn. on May 05, 2020:
The male always shows up on May 5th like clockwork!
RAY EAST on May 05, 2020:
I have 2 pair at my feeders in south central KY.I have been feeding birds for over 50 years.This is my 1st ever sighting of these beautiful birds.I had to look them up online to determine the breed.I sure hope they stay around for a while
A.J. on May 05, 2020:
I just saw my 1st mail at my feeder this morning. I new it was a gb but i never saw a rose brest. Only yellow ones at my mom and dads
We live in New Hampshire.
Lynn Canary on May 04, 2020:
First sightings this week in Central FL. We are excited to see these beautiful and colorful travelers. Several males and females coming to our feeders. They love the fancy song bird seed, black oil sunflower. RBG gets along with other birds at the feeders. Water available
Doris on May 03, 2020:
Saw first one yesterday in mid NYState
Jtc on May 03, 2020:
Have 3 pair at my feeder all at the same time. Crowded.
Lois on May 03, 2020:
My husband and I live in WNC outside of Asheville and have had 4 pairs of Rose Breasted Grosbeaks coming to our feeders. They have been with us now for around 3 weeks. Hoping maybe they will stay for the summer. We also have a birdbath close to the feeders that they go to. What a beautiful sight!!
Jackie on May 02, 2020:
Have two males for the past 3 days at my feeder. I am in central Mississippi. Possibly females are with them but I have not been able to identify them as yet.
macon b ollis on May 02, 2020:
live in hillsborough n.c. we have at least 8 RBG at our feeder, 4 males &4 females. have been here 7 days
Stephanie on May 01, 2020:
Saw my first one today. We live in SC
SandyO on May 01, 2020:
We look forward to the RBG migration around Mother’s Day. They appeared on April 21 and are still migrating through as of May 1. Most days there are 4 males and 4 females. It’s been a special gift from Mother Nature to see so many.
Margaret on May 01, 2020:
Just saw one male at our feeder here in Tallahassee, Florida, today, maybe the same one that was here a few days ago. Just figured out what it is, as we had never seen one before. At first it looked like a colorful cardinal, which makes sense since they are in the cardinal family. Really pretty.
BeepBeep on May 01, 2020:
We now have our first male Grosbeak. Been feeding birds here for 30 plus years.
Avenelle on April 30, 2020:
Saw a rose throated grosbeak at the feeder today eating black oil sunflower seeds he was beautiful our first time seeing one. I live in eastern Kentucky. Wonderful surprise.
Patti Stiles on April 30, 2020:
in north Georgia mountains. All of a sudden we have at least 5 females and a couple of males . April 30 2020
Bruce Kiacz on April 30, 2020:
Just saw the first one of the season wrangling thistle out of my finch feeder here in Toledo, Ohio. Wonder if it could be the same guy that stopped here last year?
KQD on April 28, 2020:
We are in south central Indiana and I have several eating at my feeders!
RKilburn on April 28, 2020:
Have had a pair at my feeder all day. My first since I started feeding 3 years ago. Beautiful.
Marilyn C. on April 28, 2020:
I've seen one male RBG at the feeder for short times in the past 3 years around this time of year. (Migration?) There were 2 males out there this morning. I just realized what the females look like, and there was one this morning. There may be more. I live at the AL, TN state line (north of Huntsville, AL).
Buster Sumrall on April 26, 2020:
Spotted a rose breasted grosbeck in ms this weekend 4/26/29. how rare is this?
Ruth Smit on April 26, 2020:
We have a male and female eating at our feeder in Hiawassee GA. They came here about the same time last year. They are beautiful birds.
Maria on April 25, 2020:
Saw a male redbreasted grosbeak perched and eating black oil sunflower seeds from our feeder today. It stayed for over 10 minutes but flew into a nearby tree when a squirrel ran toward the feeder. Have never seen one on our feeders before we live northeast of Charlotte, NC
Deb Neighbors on April 25, 2020:
I have four males and i believe some females as well
Bob and Joyce on April 25, 2020:
We were interrupted at lunch when something hit our glass storm door rather hard. I got up from the table and looked out to find a beautiful male Rose-breasted Grosbeak lying almost unconscious on the front stoop. We stepped away for a few minutes to discus what we should do. When we returned there was a female standing a few inches away staring at the injured male. She never left his side! We decided to leave them alone with the understanding I would remove the body when the female had left. Some time later we noticed that the female was gone so I set about my grisly task. But, the male was gone too! I haven't seen any sign of them since! She stood guard over him until he recovered enough to get away.
ktoobusy on April 23, 2020:
Saw a male at my feeder today! Douglasville, GA
Pat on January 05, 2020:
the RBG is my favorite bird. SE Michigan here and they stop at my feeders on their way thru in May. Cannot wait for the thrill this year. Hope to keep them here this summer with 2 dedicated feeders with sunflower seeds and safflower seeds.
robert on November 27, 2019:
novenber 27 upstate ny still have a groesbeak at feeder
Denise on November 19, 2019:
I have a female who has been around for a week or so.
Chris on October 26, 2019:
Seeing both male and females at my bird feeding as I'm writing this 'live in Homosassa fl. Beautiful!!!
Lu Ann on October 22, 2019:
Have seen a male at my feeder for a few days. Have lots of cardinals and other singbirds in my yard. First sighting here in Sarasota, Florida. They are beautiful birds!
Sadie on October 22, 2019:
We live in Tarpon Springs & have started seeing a group of about 10 at our feeders for about 4 days. Looks like 2 or 3 males & 7 or 8 females. Very interesting & beautiful birds. Wish they could stay all winter. Today is 10/22/19
Diana on October 22, 2019:
I have seen 4 birds for 3 days at my feeder. I live in largo florida. They love my black oil sunflowers and my home made suet. I have tried to get a picture but they fly away if I go outside. Is it possible they would stay for the winter or is my feeder a stop over on their way south? They sure are beautiful birds!
Tracie on October 21, 2019:
I just had 3 females and a juvenile male at my feeder today. I live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.
Debbie on August 28, 2019:
We have just had a juvenile grosbeak on our feeder for the last two days. It looks like the female spring grosbeak. It loves the sunflower hearts. There is only the one. Are there more and we just
Linda on July 28, 2019:
We live in the Southern Tier of NewYork state. Lots of male and female grosbeaks visit our feeders on the deck. You can walk out on the deck and they are not bothered by our presence.
Eric Dockett (author) from USA on July 16, 2019:
Hi Margo! Thanks so much for the kind words! Regarding your upside-down visitor, the White-Breasted Nuthatch comes to mind. I believe they are common in your area.
Margo on July 15, 2019:
Hi Eric. I certainly enjoy reading your articles every day. Thank you. I'm in the Lakes Region of NH and we have seen the males at the feeders ever day since mid-May. We may have females too but i didnt know they looked so different and may have mistaken them for another bird. The Orioles left for a while but we had a beautiful male at the suet feeder this morning. Too many Blue Jays to count!
We have one bird that comes to the feeder I call the "upside down" bird. It actually eats upside down. I just love watching them all!
Rhonda Cummins on June 18, 2019:
I had a pair show up at my feeders on May 9th. They have been here every day . On June 15th both the male and female were at the feeder very often al day and I haven't seen them since! I could just cry! I'm hoping they will bring their babies to my feeder! May 15th was the last day I saw the baltimore orioles also! I'm just so sad here in central Iowa!
Barbara Barto on June 10, 2019:
We have had Rose-breasted Gross beaks at our feeders for the past 15 years - Thomaston CT - they arrive around May 2 - this year they arrived about 10 days late - they were at our feeders for about a week - we haven’t seen them since - we are heartbroken -
What happened to them?
Joanne Lythgoe on June 08, 2019:
Just saw a male rose breasted grosbeak on my feeder in Park City Utah! 7,000 ft elevation. Beautiful bird!!
Today is June 8th.
Kit Hunter on May 31, 2019:
Had a male on my feeder in Ogden, Utah. Have never seen one in Utah. He was here on may 27, have not seen since
Donna Salis/Christensen on May 29, 2019:
Saw one over a week ago when the Orioles first appeared. Usually, have plenty by now, but cooler & wetter than normal weather this Spring may be influencing their arrival.
Colene on May 20, 2019:
Just saw are first Rose Breasted Grosbeak this morning in central Michigan. Sharing the grape jelly with the Baltimore Orioles. Fun to watch them all!!
Eric Dockett (author) from USA on May 19, 2019:
Hi Lynn - My guess is if they are there now you've probably got them for the summer.
Lynn on May 19, 2019:
Grosbeaks have been appearing at my feeder here in Milwuakee, 2nd week in May. Can anyone tell me if they will stay all summer? I hope so, they are gorgeous!
Tammy on May 17, 2019:
Here in Fulda, Indiana, visiting males & female grosbeaks moved through couple weeks ago. Now a lonely immature male showed up gobbling up the sunflower seeds. He is taking advantage of suet also.
Paula on May 17, 2019:
In the Brainerd lakes area in north central Minnesota. Saw them on my feeder for the first time this week. At least one male and ine female that I can tell. Beautiful! They add to the beauty of the Baltimore Orioles on the other feeder
Michelle on May 15, 2019:
I live in the Nashville TN area and have a male visiting my feeders. I have never seen one here. I am keeping an eye out for the female.
Alice in Oxford Ct on May 13, 2019:
So glad to see Grosbeak both male and female are coming back at feeders on the first week of May. They always stayed longer than other birds, must be very hungry. The male bird also loves corn on the cob I left outside they don‘t mind chilly raining day at 40s in Ct. My zoom lense camera aiming them quickly they seem don‘t care that much.
Brian Kinstler on May 12, 2019:
I have three males and at least one female in my tiny Milwaukee backyard, and I’ve only ever seen one before in my life — seems they are appearing all over the area suddenly and in unusually large numbers this year. Maybe the recent Artic vortex threw off migration patterns? Glad to have them, though!
GB on May 12, 2019:
They always return to my 23 heavily wooded acres in Eaton County. Thanks for the info about migration ranges. They're very bold, even more than Chickadees. I can get within a foot of them while they're feeding on small black oil sunflower seeds. They have a beautiful song.
Don and Michelle H. on May 11, 2019:
We live In Troy, Ohio and spotted our first male black-headed grosbeak yesterday at the feeder out our house and he is back today. Now that we know what the female looks I am sure we saw one last summer at the feeder. My husband sees male grosbeaks at the golf course all the time. Beautiful birds. So exciting!
Tara on May 11, 2019:
I have 4 males at my safflower feeder for the last 3 days. I am north of Toronto , Ontario . It is my first time seeing these beautiful birds at this house
Kara on May 11, 2019:
I live just north of Toronto, Ontario, and, much to my delight, I saw my first male and female grosbeaks here yesterday with a return visit this morning. Beautiful!
Rob and Anne on May 10, 2019:
Two gorgeous males with two females arrived at our East Lansing, Michigan feeder today. Typically stay around for three or four days, early May. Seem very happy with oily, black sunflower seed.
Kate Barbati on May 10, 2019:
I grew up in Boston, NY (30 years ago) and they were always around. I now live in Blasdell, NY (for the past 5 years) and had my very first one visit today!! I was so happy - they are my favorite bird!
Annie on May 10, 2019:
Live in the south side of Milwaukee. These last two days have seen as many as 5 males at one time at my feeder. They are just beautiful. Hope they stay.
Bernadette Martin on May 09, 2019:
Have two males at my feeder this week. Have never seen them before. I live in the Niagara Peninsula.
Amy on May 09, 2019:
Male and female in Niagara Falls Canada all day today. The female has been eating the oranges put out for the orioles
Michael Anderson on May 09, 2019:
I live in Vernon Parrish Louisiana and have a pair of these at our feeder every year for the past five years during the month of May. For several weeks during May we will see them each day at our feeders then they disappear we assume to head north.
Kathy Mac on May 08, 2019:
Arrived here in Northern Il a few days. Had three males and at least a couple females feeding in my yard all at once. They seem to love the grape jelly and suet. They will hop right on my teacup and eat the grape jelly. When they are busy eating, they don't mind me photographing. Beautiful songs!
Lt on May 08, 2019:
Have 2 males, with red chests, and 1 female, live just outside lake placid, new york
Sally on May 08, 2019:
My rose breasted grosbeak showed up as always this week - early May, near Richmond, VA. 2019. He spent the day and left. Hope his cousins will come by throughout the summer! I love this bird!!
Babbitt on May 08, 2019:
I live in Indiana I have a lot of rose breast grosbeaks i n my yard a
Steve on May 08, 2019:
Ihavealotof rosebreated grosbeaks in my yard as of5 -7-19
Glenda McGee on May 07, 2019:
I had a male eating sunflower seeds at my feeder. It was eating unlike any bird I had ever seen, as though it was starving. It let me approach and never stopped eating until I was about 5 feet away.
It was very very very hungry.
The grosbeaks showed up in my Catskills neighborhood this weekend.
All my neighbors with feeders mentioned them.
I wonder if they migrate in a wee flock.
Eric Dockett (author) from USA on May 07, 2019:
Thanks for all of the great comments on Rose-Breasted Grosbeak sightings in your areas. I always love seeing the reports roll in from south to north every spring. So much appreciated!
I finally spotted two males at my feeder here in PA over the weekend. In a related story, I also have an Eastern Towhee hanging around, a bird I have not seen in several years.
Kristen Esbensen on May 06, 2019:
Saw a female this evening at my backyard feeders. 5/3/2019.