Saturday, June 25, 2011

Rose-breasted Grosbeak; May Bird Migration through Northern Illinois

A gross of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at our backyard feeder, Rockford, IL; 5/7/2011
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (Above) invaded our yard during the first week of may this spring. It started out on May 3, with a lone female (Below), then a day later a male showed up. Two days after that (May 5) at least a half dozen (3 males and 3 females) appeared. Then by May 7, I counted more than a dozen at one time feeding at our feeders and perching in our backyard trees. I was delighted, as these Gosbeaks became the 35th different species to appear in our yard in the past two years, since I have been keeping track.

A lone female Rose-breasted Gosbeak appeared, Rockford, IL; 5/3/2011
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks will spend summers in the northeast quadrant of the country and spread north into eastern and central Canada, but migrate south to Mexico and Cenral Ameica for the winter. I saw a couple of them in Mexico last Christmas. The male grosbeaks (Below) are very colorful with a bright triangle of red on its breast contrasting with a white belly and a black head and throat.  Females (Above) lack the red and black, and are more brownish gray with a very boldly striped head, and have course dark brown streaks over the top of a tannish / yellowish breast and white belly. Both genders have a light grayish / pinkish bill, which is very thick and haeavy, and by which it receives its name.
A male Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Rockford, IL; 5/7/2011

A pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Rockford, IL; 5/7/2011
Now that they have discovered our feeders, I am looking forward to a "gross" (as a collective group of Grosbeaks are called - typical, eh?)  of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks to return to our feeders as they migrate through northern Illinois during both the spring and the fall.


Cathy Allen said...

Several male and female gross-beck. North Utica, IL.

Phil Sheridan said...

I still have them in Aurora, IL. It's June 16th and I had one at my feeders this morning. Is this unusual?