South Dakota
Birds and Birding
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Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Pheucticus ludovicianus

Length: 8 inches Wingspan: 12.5 inches Seasonality: Summer/Migrant
ID Keys: Male black head, throat and back, white underparts with rose-red triangle on breast

Rose-breasted Grosbeak - Pheucticus ludovicianusFound in deciduous forests and groves in the eastern part of the state, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak is probably heard more often than seen. The males sing almost continuously during courtship, even when fighting other males or when in flight. The photo to the right depicts the brightly colored male. Additional photos, including those of a female, can be found at the bottom of the page.

Habitat: Deciduous or mixed forest, residential areas, groves. Prefers woodland edges or openings, less likely to be found in unbroken forest.

Diet: Insects, seeds, buds, flowers, fruits and berries.

Behavior: Forages by moving through foliage of trees and shrubs, looking for food items. Will also fly out from perches to snatch insects in mid-air, or hover while taking insects from the surface of a leaf or branch.

Nesting: June and July

Breeding Map: Breeding bird survey map

Song: Rose-breasted Grosbeak Song, also Rose-breasted Grosbeak Call

Migration: Neotropical migrant, wintering in Mexico, Central America, and South America. Summer breeding range covers much of the eastern half of the U.S. except the deep South, as well as parts of southern and central Canada.

Bird Feeders: Will attend feeders for sunflower seeds and fruit.

Similar Species: Black-headed Grosbeak

Conservation Status: Numbers appear to be stable.

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Rose-breasted Grosbeak

2) Cornell University's "All About Birds - Rose-breasted Grosbeak"

3) Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Photo Information: May 22nd, 2005 - Perry Nature Area near Sioux Falls - Terry L. Sohl

Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution Rose-breasted Grosbeak photos.


Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Rose-breasted Grosbeak - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Common summer resident in the eastern part of the state.  Rare migrant and summer resident elsewhere in the state.