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ButchHero

Rose Breasted Grosebeak Question

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We have a strange looking rose-breasted grosebeak on our feeder- there are several others frequenting the feeder today (5 or 6 males steadily, and 3 or 4 females. This oddball (?) has the breast markings of the males (red on white) with the head and primaries of a female- i.e. brown and white striping. Anyone have any idea what might be going on here? The bird is as large (if not larger) than the other rose-breasted(s) on the feeder.

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That'd be my guess. 1st winter males look somewhat similar to the females from August - March according to the Sibley's Eastern N.A. version. Seemed like here the male goldfinches were slower than some years about completing their molt. We're into May a ways but there are lots of things that aren't keeping pace with the calendar date, myself included. Wait till we get a load of tonight's lows! grin

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male grossbeaks take on the same coloration as females during the winter, thats a fact. most likely it is just molting from its winter coloration, to the summer coloration

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male grossbeaks take on the same coloration as females during the winter, thats a fact. most likely it is just molting from its winter coloration, to the summer coloration

This is incorrect.

Male rose-breasted grosbeaks' winter plumage (once they achieve adult plumage) is more faded than their summer/breeding plumage, but it is still the distinctive black/white/red pattern, though washed out, and looks nothing at all like the tan/brown streaked female.

Googling rose-breasted grosbeak plumage will yield a lot of good info.

Other grosbeaks we see in our area include the pine and evening grosbeaks, and in these species the adult males have colorful plumage very different than the females in all seasons.

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Steve you are the bird "expert" so I pose a question to you sans no pic..sorry.. We have several birds that frequent our feeders that look like sparrows but the males have red plumage on the head, breast, and on the lower back that you see when they fly.. i have looked online somewhat for a pic and cant find anything that looks like these birds.. what are they?

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bassmasher, there are some experienced birders on the board. Borealhunter is the real pro among us, so when he weighs in you can take his bird lore to the bank.

Your red birds could be a few different things, and I don't have my guides with me at the moment. Do you see them in winter or summer or in all seasons, and when you say they look like sparrows except for the males, does that mean they are the same size as sparrows?

If you have a field guide, look up house finch and purple finch, or if not Google them to find pics. Could be that's what you've got.

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They tend to run a little bigger than sparrows, but I looked up both purple and house finches and those seem to have too much red to me.. I can try and take a pic but then i have to learn how to post it here :-(

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