Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. (Photo: Arkansas Game & Fish Commission)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- It's Bird of the Week, today and Sarah Baxter with the Arkansas Game and Fish joins us to tell us all about the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak.
She'll have the details on the perfect time to find one, what they feed on and the stark differences between male and female.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a very large, brightly colored, charismatic species that shows up at backyard feeders in Arkansas for about three weeks during their migration northward, and right now is prime time to see one!
They can be spotted in Arkansas from the last week of April through about the second week of May, and they love sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and peanuts! Obviously, the males have a very striking plumage pattern - black and white with a large, rose-colored chevron that extends from their black throat down through the middle of the breast. The females are shaped similarly, but have very drab plumage by comparison.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a relatively large songbird, with an enormous bill! There are several species of Grosbeaks, and they are closely related to Cardinals and Buntings, and like the Cardinals and Buntings, that huge bill is used to eat seeds. People can see them right now just about anywhere - they are not too picky on their stopover habitat. They can be seen in parks, gardens, orchards, as well as along forest edges and shrubby areas along streams.
We often hear them before we see them, and their song is described as being similar to an American Robin, but much sweeter. That huge, black and white bird with that bright red patch is so exciting to see!