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Male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks Return

5-7-14 rose-breasted grosbeakIMG_6053Many of the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks that breed in New England are thought to spend the winter in Panama and northern South America. When the time comes in the spring for their nocturnal migration, adult males depart first, flying northward at an average of 49 miles per hour (this rate includes stopovers). Upon arrival, they establish and maintain their two-acre territories primarily through song. When females arrive and one approaches a singing male, he is initially very aggressive and often attacks the female, but if she persists he eventually comes around and wins her over with courtship displays.

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11 responses

  1. Elizabeth Dillman

    I just saw a rose-breasted grosbeak yesterday for the first time in years. What a beautiful bird! So nice to have more information about it this morning.

    May 7, 2014 at 10:48 am

  2. Bob and Inge

    HE “wins HER over”? From his previous behavior, wouldn’t it be the other way around? Thank you for the ever interesting gift of your column. I use to have this bird at my feeder, but alas, now I have bears.

    Inge in Amherst MA.

    May 7, 2014 at 11:51 am

    • You’re right, Inge. It’s the other way around! I think I’d take bears over birds, actually 🙂

      May 7, 2014 at 4:11 pm

  3. Sarah Gilson

    So beautiful.

    May 7, 2014 at 12:17 pm

  4. So beautiful.

    May 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm

  5. Bill On The Hill...

    Hi Mary… Beautiful bird, an excellent shot, fantastic detail!
    On occasion, I see them here in Corinth also, a real treat on those rare visits.

    May 7, 2014 at 1:26 pm

  6. Kathie Fiveash

    Mary, I’ve been seeing quite a few females rose-breasteds, but no males yet. Hmmm. I usually see quite a few males before the females arrive, but not this year. Any thoughts? I’m keeping my eyes peeled!

    May 7, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    • How very odd, Kathie. I ‘m afraid I can’t explain your seeing females before males…sorry!

      May 8, 2014 at 12:04 am

  7. Such a gorgeous bird and I love their song as well. With all the spring migrants arriving daily, I’m in heaven!

    May 8, 2014 at 1:49 am

  8. That is the BEST photo I’ve ever seen, so upclose – LOVE! Get these at my house, one or two at the most, love their colors.

    May 8, 2014 at 10:06 am

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