Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

rose-breasted grosbeak
 The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a pretty regular visitor at our house here in southeastern Vermont. This year we've seen 2 adults males and 2 adult females. There's no mistaking the male when it comes to identification - massive bill, black and white pattern and distinctive red patch on the breast.

female red-breasted grosbeak
The female is a bit drabber, looking like a large sparrow or finch. She has lemon-yellow feathers under her wings which are only visible in flight.

As I was looking at the images Gerry took of the male, I noticed something green in the corner of his bill.

A few frames later and you could get a better glimpse of........

I assume it's a caterpillar, or was a caterpillar. Besides using those massive bills for cracking sunflower seeds, grosbeaks also eat insects. 

 I'm sure both pairs are busy feeding young. Here's an interesting fact I found on the Cornell site - 'the nest of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak is so thinly constructed that eggs often can be seen from below through the nest'. We'll have to start looking!

1 comment:

  1. Once again, stunning pictures. Looks like he was enjoying that uh caterpillar..... Very colorful. :-/