Rose-breasted Grosbeak Habits

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is often considered one of the prettiest birds to arrive in late spring with its Robin like song being sung from the treetops.

Many bird watchers claim this bird as their favorite after seeing it for the first time.

Its treetop song is a beginning of claiming territories, attracting a mate, and raising another nest of young in a new season.


male rose-breasted grosbeak

Male Rose-breasted

The Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak Has a black head and back with a deep rose triangle on his breast. The males belly is white.

Females are drab in comparison, mostly plain brown with two white wing bars and a prominent white eye stripe.

With orange yellow wing linings and heavy streaking on a white breast she is sometimes mistaken for a large sparrow.

Both have the familiar heavy conical bill common to these birds.



These birds are considered monogamous (one male to one female). The courtship consist of the male singing during flight in order to attract a female.

Sometimes a courtship dance is offered by the male for the female.

This might consist of tipping the head back and holding his tail in an upright position and spread out. He then wags his head and body.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Nesting Habits

Both male and female build the nest. The nest is cup-shaped and built using fine twigs, rootlets and weeds. Located in a tree 5 to 25 feet above the ground.

The female lays 3 to 5 eggs that are blue green with brown markings. Incubation last 13 to 14 days. Both male and female incubate the eggs.

female rose-breasted grosbeak eating sunflower seeds

Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Young fledge in 9 to 12 days after hatching. Both adult birds feed the young. Can have 2 broods per season.

Feeding Habits

Spring is the time to feed these birds. They'll glean food from tree foliage. Insects, seeds, tree buds, and some fruit are some of the types of wild food they are attracted to.

Try attracting them to your feeders by offering Safflower or Black-oil sunflower seed in your Bird Feeders.


Predators at the nest site inclued Blue Jays and Grackles. Adult Rose-breasted Grosbeaks will mob either of these intruders and try to chase them away.

Predators of adults include, Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks.

Learn More About All The Different Grosbeaks

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