Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Pheucticus melanocephalus L 8 ¼” (21cm)

Photo by Lang Elliott
An adult male Rose-breasted Grosbeak


The rose-breasted grosbeak is a songbird of the eastern deciduous woodlands. Spending much of its time in the treetops, the beautiful male rosebreast is often heard before it is seen. The rich melodic warbling song of the rose-breasted grosbeak is often described as sounding like a robin that’s had singing lessons. When not singing, rosebreasts often utter a call that sounds like a squeaky eeek! In flight, male rosebreasts flash a pinwheel of black and white, and if you look carefully, you’ll see that both sexes have salmon-pink in the “armpit” region under their wings.

Above information from

In the past five years we have had two sightings of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak (an eastern bird) at our backyard feeders. A maturing male bird visited our feeders during late winter, spring, and summer about four years ago. This winter a juvenile male was sighted once at our feeders and a few times by our neighbor.

The male Rose-breasted Grosbeak is easily identified. It is black and white, with a large triangle of rose-red on the breast and a thick pale bill. The female shows little resemblance to the male bird with the exception of the large thick bill. The female is streaked like a large sparrow and recognized by the large “grosbeak” bill.

As the male bird matures the pale rose-red triangle on the breast becomes a very distinct bright rose-red triangle.