While we were preparing lunch a few years ago, I remarked that I thought the rose-breasted grosbeaks should be returning soon. It’s usually the second week of May we start to see them at the feeders in our part of West Michigan. Five minutes later I looked out and there he was! The first grosbeak of the season. I thought these birds would make a lovely rose-breasted grosbeak unit study!
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak Breeding and Migration Map
This map from Wikipedia shows their patterns. The light yellow is the breeding range. The orange is the migration only range. The blue is the wintering range.
You can create your own map for your unit study by using the USA map in my subscriber only area.
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak Male and Female Markings
The males are so distinctive in their coloring that you can’t miss them when they show up!
The females have the distinctive white marking around their eyes. It makes it easier to identify them from a distance. Both the female and male have a body and beak shape that also makes them easier to distinguish from other birds. (Can you tell the ways that they are similar to the cardinals to whom they are related?)
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak Songs
Rose-breasted grosbeaks have a beautiful song. They sound much like a robin, but you can learn to tell the difference. Here is one singing.
Reading about Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks
Learn more interesting facts about rose-breasted grosbeaks at these websites:
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak Vocabulary and Spelling
Here are some words you can use for vocabulary or spelling activities during your unit study.
- black oil sunflower
- triangular bill
For fun, you could also create a word search using these words! You will find a template in my subscriber only area.
Feeding Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks
Many people choose not to put out birdseed in the spring and summer since the birds have an abundance of food around them. We feed year round for two reasons. One, the birds are like my pets. Two, if we didn’t feed all year we would never see the summer birds such as the grosbeaks.
We put three or four different bird feeders out the first year we moved in and were thrilled to see grosbeaks. We had only seen them once or twice before at our feeders in the city. Now that we’ve been feeding them for a number of years, we will have four or five pairs each year. They come and eat like clockwork each day and we can enjoy watching them while we eat. They especially love eating from our birdfeeder like this one.
Here are a male and female eating together. They love black oil sunflower seeds which is what we put out year round. It gives birds the most nutrition and it is far better than putting out cheaper mixed seed.
Comparing Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks to Other Birds
How do rose-breasted grosbeaks compare to other birds you might see more often? You can draw a Venn diagram to compare them with another type of bird (cardinal, blue jay, sparrow, etc.) or use the one in my subscriber only area.
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak Facts
A fun way to keep track of the important facts you learn about rose-breasted grosbeaks is with this simple printable in my subscriber only area.
More Books about Birds
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds: Eastern Region, Revised EditionNational Geographic Backyard Guide to the Birds of North America (National Geographic Backyard Guides)National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, 7th EditionBirds, Nests & Eggs (Take Along Guides)Birds: Explore the world of our feathered friends
Fun Facts about Birds
If you are interested in learning even more about birds, here are some fun resources from my printables shop. Happy birding!