The rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) belongs to the cardinal family. Males have black wings, backs, heads and tails, with rose patches on a white breast. The female version of this songbird looks quite different, with streaked brown and white coloring. Juvenile males resemble female birds until they mature.


You can find these unique birds in deciduous woods in Canada and the northeastern part of the US. Rose-breasted grosbeaks sometimes crossbreed with black-headed grosbeaks. Hybrids contain unusual coloring such as pink, orange and black markings. However, crossbreeding usually only occurs in areas where both birds are rare.

They migrate to warmer forests in central South America during the winter season.


Rose-breasted grosbeaks have a different diet while breeding and migrating. During the breeding season, they eat a lot of wild fruit, seeds and insects. When they migrate in the fall, they may vary their diet with plant material and invertebrates.

Fun Facts

  • Rose-breasted grosbeaks build thin nests, so you can often see their eggs from the ground.
  • The male takes his turn incubating eggs for a few hours each day. Both sexes sing to each other while changing positions, and the bird has a beautiful robin-like song that birdwatchers often attempt to recreate.