Due to its prominent and highly recognizable red chest, the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak usually sits on the list of most beautiful and desired backyard birds. This large seed-eating songbird is popular despite having a range primarily in the eastern portion of the United States. If you live within this magnificent bird’s habitat, here are some easy tips to help attract the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak to your yard.
General information about the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
The Rose-Breasted Grosbeak is about 7 inches long with a soft song that resembles the American Robin and is part of the cardinal family. The adult males in breeding plumage are the most recognizable. They have a black head, wings and back and a conspicuous red spot on the breast. The rest of the torso and underbody is white. Males in winter plumage don’t have the red breast and are mostly brown with white underparts. The females on the other hand always have dark brown wings with white spots and never have that noticeable rosy breast.
Although the range of the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak is mostly in the eastern portion of the United States, it does stretch as far west as Texas and Montana. During the winter, the birds migrate to Central America and migrate back to the Northeast for breeding season, which typically extends from about May to September. Residents in the Southeast and West will only see migrating birds in nonbreeding plumage.
Luring the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak to your yard
Make your yard a welcoming place
If you want to attract any birds to your yard, the first step is to make it hospitable by providing the three necessities: food, water and shelter. These three things will improve the overall ambiance of your yard. Birds love to preen themselves in water and need to drink, so you should have a bird bath available. Birdhouses are also essential because they give the birds a place to rest safely.
Get a platform or hopper bird feeder
The other two elements are almost universally accepted by all birds, but Red-Breasted Grosbeaks are only attracted to hopper or platform feeders because they are accustomed to foraging for food in trees and shrubs. Since they like open deciduous woods, try to place the feeder in an area of your yard that abuts something akin to woods. The best type of food to draw them to your yard is black oil sunflower seeds, but they also like safflower seeds, thistle and corn.
Consider planting elm and hickory trees
If you’re really serious about getting Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks to venture into your yard every spring, consider planting elm or hickory trees. The trees themselves offer the birds protection, but most importantly, the grosbeaks like to eat the buds and seeds.