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

  2. Wow, how did you take these beautiful shots! These are some very captivating pictures and the birds are so beautiful. Even the action of eating the caterpillar is captured well.