Attracting Rose-breasted Grosbeaks was easy in our home over in Ohio. This was on six and a half acres that was mostly wooded. They were our welcome visitors for the entire summer there and I just loved them! They would come in to our platform feeder and at our window feeder (photo left) that was right outside our dining room window. It was the perfect spot to watch them come in to feed and they were at the feeder constantly. In fact when we had our house up for sale and the buyers who ended up purchasing our house came through, there was the Rose-breasted Grosbeak feeding at the window. I think that it was one of the selling points because they really liked seeing that beautiful bird.
Here in Northern Kentucky it has been a little different. While we have attracted the Rose-breasted Grosbeak to our backyard feeder, it has only been as they were passing through heading up north. They only stick around for a few days and then they are gone. It has to be the habitat because we do not have as many trees as we used to and Grosbeaks like them for the caterpillars, beetles, ants, bees, and grubs that they like to eat. So how did we get them to our feeder? Read on……
About the Rose-breasted Grosbeak
This beautiful bird with its black and white plumage and a bright red patch on its breast will definitely catch anyone’s watchful eye. I just described the male but the female looks a little different as you can see in the photo at right. She has brown and white coloring and is sometimes mistaken for a female purple finch as they look pretty similar.
Both the male and female Grosbeak have thick bills and are about seven inches tall.
The Rose-breasted Grosbeak can be found in the north eastern and mid western United States and also Southeastern and Central Canada. They arrive in late spring and stay throughout the summer months. We generally saw them around the first of May.
They winter in Central and South America.
You will find this Grosbeak in open woodlands and forest edges that are close to ponds, marshes, streams, or pastures. They eat insects as I mentioned earlier, berries, and seeds. We had a creek running at the edge of our property in Ohio and it was fairly close to our house which I think helped in keeping the Grosbeaks around all summer long.
The female Grosbeak builds most of the nest which is made up of loosely made leaves, sticks, weeds, and other earth materials. She will lay up to four pale greenish blue eggs that have brownish spots on them. Both parents incubate the eggs which takes up to two weeks. Both parents also feed the new nestlings who leave the nest about twelve days after they hatch.
Interesting Fact: Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are one of the few birds who sing while sitting on the nest.
How To Attract Rose- breasted Grosbeaks
Hopper style bird feeders or platform feeders are usually the best type for Grosbeaks to be able to perch on. I had both of these types but as I mentioned earlier, I also had a platform type window feeder which was great for seeing this bird up close and personal. However, I have also seen these birds at other types of feeders too so you never know.
Make sure to have high quality black oil sunflower seed, safflower seeds, peanuts, or dried fruit out for them. A good supreme mix which has all of these was what we used to attract ours in. You will find that this type of mix attracts a lot of great species of birds in to your feeders.
In addition to having quality seed out for your Grosbeaks, always make sure that you have a good water source for them to be able to bathe and clean their feathers and to drink. Shelter is also important as birds need a place to retreat to in bad weather such as shrubs or trees. This is a must for all birds if you want to keep them coming back to your yard and feeders.
You will definitely enjoy seeing Rose-breasted Grosbeaks coming in to your backyard feeders. Their beautiful black and white coloring with their bright red breast is such an eye-catcher that you won’t want them to leave. It was always one of my favorite summer residents that I looked forward to arriving every season.
You can attract them to your yard by having black oil sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, peanuts, or a good supreme mix that has it all. They prefer hopper and platform feeders but have been seen at other types of feeders too. You just never know.
Are you lucky enough to get the Rose-breasted Grosbeak to your backyard feeders? I hope so! Please let me know your own experience with these birds. I would love to hear from you. Make your comments below. Thank you!
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