Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks appear to be enjoying a banner year here in central Minnesota. Cutthroat is an archaic name for this species. At the end of Arpil, Erika and I found this three-some at a feeder at the River Bend Nature Center.  I banded and released the female in the second photo later in May 2011 in Northfield.

Its song, described as "a robin on steroids." is common in our forests (Thayer's guide to North American Birds, used with permission). Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, unlike other birds, are even known to sing from their nests. Both sexes attend to raising their young. 

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks winter in Central and South America.  Their return to eastern North America, after a long winter, is a welcome sight. This grosbeak inhabits both primary and secondary deciduous forests.  The bird also is found in parks and gardens, contributing to its healthy population numbers. Farmers have mixed emotions about grosbeaks. On one hand, they consume tree buds, flowers, fruits, and seeds.  But they also eat arthropods like beetle larvae and scale insects. Most of this information is gleaned from Wyatt and Francis (2002). Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are not my favorite birds to band-- their massive beaks can inflect quite a bit of pain.

No comments:

Post a Comment