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Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus


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The summary below is an overview from The Birds of North America Online.

BNA Account Authors: Wyatt, Valerie E., and Charles M. Francis

This familiar bird, known by its beautiful, bold colors and melodic song, differs sexually in plumage. The distinctive male, with its black-and-white plumage and rose-pink breast, has earned the colorful colloquial name "cut-throat." The female, in contrast, is striped brown and closely resembles the female western Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus). Despite the dramatically different appearances of males of these 2 closely related species, both have similar songs and behavior and sometimes hybridize where their breeding ranges overlap along river valleys at the edges of the Great Plains.

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is relatively common throughout much of eastern and central North America and lives in primary and secondary deciduous and mixed forest and thickets, as well as alongside humans in parks and gardens. It overwinters in Central and South America. As a result of its use of edge and secondary habitats, it is relatively tolerant of human disturbance to habitats. Historically, the species has been considered both a pest, due to its fondness for tree buds, flowers, cultivated peas and fruits, and a beneficial species, as it eats potato beetle larvae, scale insects, and other insects injurious to crops.

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© Steven R. Pantle

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: