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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

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Maximum longevity: 24 years
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Reproduction

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Rose-breasted grosbeaks are monogamous, but no research has been done on extra-pair copulations. Pair bonds are formed in spring on the breeding grounds, when females approach territorial, singing males. Males may first reach aggressively towards females. Males use several kinds of courtship displays with females: the rapid warble flight and wing-fluff, both of which are accompanied by a warbling song. Warble flight involves the male flying slowly with his tail spread and with small movements of the wings, the wing-fluff involves the male holding his wings out to the side with his tail spread and moving his head and body from side to side as he hops on a branch.

Mating System: monogamous

Rose-breasted grosbeaks begin building nests in May and lay from 1 to 5 (usually 4) pale, bluish-green eggs speckled with darker colors. Nests are constructed in trees, shrubs, or vines from 0.8 to 16.8 m high. Nest are constructed of loosely woven grass and twigs formed into cup-shapes. Finer materials line the nest, such as shredded bark, pine needles, and fine grasses. Generally 1 brood is laid each year, although second broods are sometimes attempted. Females lay eggs about once per day until the clutch size is reached and begin incubating at the next to last egg laid. Eggs hatch asynchronously from 11 to 14 days after the beginning of incubation and young fledge after 9 to 12 days. The young are dependent on their parents for another 3 weeks after fledging and remain with the parents throughout the summer until migration. Young are able to breed in their first year after hatching.

Breeding interval: Rose-breasted grosbeaks breed once yearly, rarely attempting second broods.

Breeding season: Breeding occurs from mid-May through July throughout the range.

Range eggs per season: 1 to 5.

Average eggs per season: 4.

Range time to hatching: 11 to 14 days.

Range fledging age: 9 to 12 days.

Average fledging age: 10 days.

Average time to independence: 3 weeks.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 1 years.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 1 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; oviparous

Both females and males incubate the eggs and brood the young. Young are altricial at hatching, with light down and weighing about 4.5 g. Males and females both provide food for the young throughout their nestling period. They provide up to 75% crushed insects to the young.

Parental Investment: altricial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female); pre-independence (Provisioning: Male, Female, Protecting: Male, Female); post-independence association with parents

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Dewey, T. 2009. "Pheucticus ludovicianus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Pheucticus_ludovicianus.html
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Rose-breasted grosbeaks can hybridize with their close relatives, black-headed grosbeaks (Pheucticus melanocephalus), especially in Nebraska and the Dakotas. There seems to be assortative mating in areas of hybridization, with hybrids preferring to mate with other hybrids. Hybrid females lay smaller clutch sizes, on average.

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Dewey, T. 2009. "Pheucticus ludovicianus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Pheucticus_ludovicianus.html
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Behavior

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Rose-breasted grosbeaks are known for their lovely, melodic song. Males sing to advertise breeding territories, up to 689 songs in a day. Females may also sing when they are building nests. Other calls used include a sharp "chink" contact call and various squawks, chuks, and hurrrs used in different contexts. Young first make sounds at 6 days after hatching and young males produce their first songs at about 30 days old. Songs seems to be learned.

Communication Channels: acoustic

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

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Dewey, T. 2009. "Pheucticus ludovicianus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Pheucticus_ludovicianus.html
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Conservation Status

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Rose-breasted grosbeak populations seem to be stable, although there have been marginal declines in some areas. Individuals may die from collisions with buildings and towers during migration and forest succession towards mature forests may reduce available habitat for this species. The IUCN lists them as least concern because of their large population sizes and large range.

US Migratory Bird Act: protected

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

State of Michigan List: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Dewey, T. 2009. "Pheucticus ludovicianus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Pheucticus_ludovicianus.html
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Benefits

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Rose-breasted grosbeaks occasionally take domestic crops, such as peas, corn, oats, and wheat.

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Dewey, T. 2009. "Pheucticus ludovicianus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Pheucticus_ludovicianus.html
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Benefits

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Rose-breasted grosbeaks are appreciated for their lovely song and the bright colors of the males. They are frequent visitors at bird-feeders.

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Dewey, T. 2009. "Pheucticus ludovicianus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Pheucticus_ludovicianus.html
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Associations

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Rose-breasted grosbeak nests are parasitized by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater). However, aggressive nest defense by parents may make parasitism unlikely and the survival of grosbeak nestlings seems unaffected by parasitism. Other parasites are lice (Brueelia pallidula and Menacanthus eurysternus) and parasitic flies (Ornithoctona strigilecula and Ornithomya fringillina). Rose-breasted grosbeaks may help to disperse some seeds and control local insect populations.

Commensal/Parasitic Species:

  • brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater)
  • lice (Brueelia pallidula)
  • lice (Menacanthus eurysternus)
  • parasitic flies (Ornithoctona strigilecula)
  • parasitic flies (Ornithomya fringillina)
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Dewey, T. 2009. "Pheucticus ludovicianus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Pheucticus_ludovicianus.html
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Trophic Strategy

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Rose-breasted grosbeaks eat seeds, fruit, and insects, with proportions varying seasonally. During the breeding season they eat approximately 52% insects and 48% seeds and fruit. They may also eat the ovaries of flowers. During migration they rely heavily on fruits. There is less known about winter range diet, except that it includes fruits and oil-rich seeds. Rose-breasted grosbeaks forage throughout forest canopy levels and occasionally on the ground. They glean insects from leaves or can hover or hawk to capture insects. They often eat the fruiting body off of seeds or extract only the germ of seeds to eat. Insects eaten include beetles, including Colorado potato beetles (Leptinotarsa decimlineata), bees and ants, bugs, and butterfly larvae. They prey heavily on wild fruits such as elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), red-berried elder (Sambucus pubens), blackberry and raspberry (Rubus species), mulberry (Morus rubra), and juneberry (Amelanchier canadensis), and weed seeds, such as smartweed (Polygonum), pigweed (Amaranthus), foxtail (Setaria), milkweed (Asclepias), and sunflowers (Helianthus). They may also eat domestic crops, such as peas (Pisum sativum), corn (Zea mays), oats (Avena sativa), and wheat (Triticum vulgare).

Animal Foods: insects

Plant Foods: seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit; flowers

Primary Diet: omnivore

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Dewey, T. 2009. "Pheucticus ludovicianus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Pheucticus_ludovicianus.html
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Distribution

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Rose-breasted grosbeaks breed in northern North America, from British Columbia in the west to the Canadian maritime provinces in the east and as far south as New Jersey, the Appalachian Mountains through South Carolina, west to eastern Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. In winter they are found in the greater Antilles, coastal Mexico, and throughout Central America and northern South America to eastern Peru and Guyana. They are sometimes seen wintering in the lesser Antilles and Revillagigedo Islands as well. They are very occasionally seen in Europe.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

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Dewey, T. 2009. "Pheucticus ludovicianus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Pheucticus_ludovicianus.html
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Habitat

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In their breeding range, rose-breasted grosbeaks are found in a wide variety of wooded habitats, including swamp or mesic forests, riparian corridors, and forest edges along marshes, roads, and pastures. They prefer mixed or deciduous woodlands with an open structure, such as second-growth habitats. They seem to avoid dry woodlands and grasslands. They are found in similar kinds of habitats along migratory routes and in their winter range. They are found at elevations up to 3800 m in Colombia.

Range elevation: 0 to 3800 m.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: forest ; scrub forest

Other Habitat Features: riparian

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Dewey, T. 2009. "Pheucticus ludovicianus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Pheucticus_ludovicianus.html
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Life Expectancy

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The oldest reported wild bird was banded at almost 13 years old. Captive birds have lived up to 24 years. Estimates of annual survival are 48% in young birds and 61% in adults.

Range lifespan
Status: wild:
13 (high) years.

Range lifespan
Status: captivity:
24 (high) years.

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Dewey, T. 2009. "Pheucticus ludovicianus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Pheucticus_ludovicianus.html
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Morphology

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Rose-breasted grosbeaks are sexually dimorphic in plumage pattern. Males have vivid black and white feathers with a rose-colored throat, females have brown and white streaked plumage, with a distinct, buffy eyestripe. Rose-breasted grosbeaks are 18 to 21.5 cm long and from 39 to 49 grams. Males have a black head, white bill, are black and white dorsally and have a white belly and breast, topped with their rosy throat. Females are brown with white markings above and buffy with brown streaks on the belly, breast, and throat. Immature and non-breeding males take on some female plumage characteristics, such as the buffy white superciliary stripe and some brown and streaked plumage. There are no subspecies.

Rose-breasted grosbeak females are almost identical to females of the closely related black-headed grosbeaks (Pheucticus melanocephalus), although they tend to have more streaking on their breasts. Although the males of these two species differ in pattern, hybridization does occur where their ranges overlap in the central U.S. and southern Canada. The two species are ecologically similar and have similar songs.

Range mass: 39 to 49 g.

Range length: 18 to 21.5 mm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes colored or patterned differently; male more colorful

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Dewey, T. 2009. "Pheucticus ludovicianus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Pheucticus_ludovicianus.html
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Associations

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Most predation is on eggs and nestlings. Rose-breasted grosbeak pairs will attack or mob perceived threats near their nests. Reported nest predators are blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata), common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula), grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), and red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Adults may be preyed on by Cooper's hawks (Accipiter cooperii) and sharp-shinned hawks (Accipiter striatus).

Known Predators:

  • blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata)
  • common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula)
  • grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis)
  • red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
  • Cooper's hawks (Accipiter cooperii)
  • sharp-shinned hawks (Accipiter striatus)
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Dewey, T. 2009. "Pheucticus ludovicianus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Pheucticus_ludovicianus.html
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Pheucticus ludovicianus

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A medium-sized (7-8 ½ inches) songbird, the male Rose-breasted Grosbeak is most easily identified by its black head and body, white belly, and bright red breast patch. The female Rose-breasted Grosbeak is mottled brown above and streaked below with conspicuous white eye-stripes. Both sexes have large conical bills, dark legs, and squared-off tails. This species may be distinguished from the related Black-headed Grosbeak ( Pheucticus melanocephalus) by that species’ orange breast and from the similar-looking Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) by that species’ chestnut flanks, black breast, and rounded tail. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak breeds across the northeastern United States and southern Canada, north and west to British Columbia and south at higher elevations in the east to northern Georgia. In winter, this species migrates south to southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. On migration, this species may be found for short periods of time across the southeastern U.S. as far west as Texas. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks breed in a variety of woodland habitats, particularly in heavily-vegetated undergrowth near forest edges or clearings. In winter, this species may be found in similarly-structured habitats in tropical forests. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks eat a variety of plant and animal foods, including fruits, berries, and insects. In appropriate habitat, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks may be seen foraging for food in the branches of trees or shrubs and, less frequently, on the ground. This species also visits bird feeders when available, notably during migration, when individuals may frequent a particular backyard for a few days before moving on. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are most active during the day, but, like many migratory songbirds, this species migrates at night.

Threat Status: Least Concern

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Reid Rumelt

Pheucticus ludovicianus

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A medium-sized (7-8 ½ inches) songbird, the male Rose-breasted Grosbeak is most easily identified by its black head and body, white belly, and bright red breast patch. The female Rose-breasted Grosbeak is mottled brown above and streaked below with conspicuous white eye-stripes. Both sexes have large conical bills, dark legs, and squared-off tails. This species may be distinguished from the related Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus) by that species’ orange breast and from the similar-looking Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) by that species’ chestnut flanks, black breast, and rounded tail. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak breeds across the northeastern United States and southern Canada, north and west to British Columbia and south at higher elevations in the east to northern Georgia. In winter, this species migrates south to southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. On migration, this species may be found for short periods of time across the southeastern U.S. as far west as Texas. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks breed in a variety of woodland habitats, particularly in heavily-vegetated undergrowth near forest edges or clearings. In winter, this species may be found in similarly-structured habitats in tropical forests. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks eat a variety of plant and animal foods, including fruits, berries, and insects. In appropriate habitat, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks may be seen foraging for food in the branches of trees or shrubs and, less frequently, on the ground. This species also visits bird feeders when available, notably during migration, when individuals may frequent a particular backyard for a few days before moving on. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are most active during the day, but, like many migratory songbirds, this species migrates at night.

References

  • Pheucticus ludovicianus. Xeno-canto. Xeno-canto Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 July 2012.
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus). The Internet Bird Collection. Lynx Edicions, n.d. Web. 20 July 2012.
  • Wyatt, Valerie E. and Charles M. Francis. 2002. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/692
  • eBird Range Map - Rose-breasted Grosbeak. eBird. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, N.d. Web. 20 July 2012.

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Rumelt, Reid B. Pheucticus ludovicianus. June-July 2012. Brief natural history summary of Pheucticus ludovicianus. Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.
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Rose-breasted grosbeak

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The rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) is a large, seed-eating grosbeak in the cardinal family (Cardinalidae). It is primarily a foliage gleaner. It breeds in cool-temperate North America, migrating to tropical America in winter.

Taxonomy

In 1760 the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson included a description of the rose-breasted grosbeak in his Ornithologie based on a specimen collected in Louisiana. He used the French name Le gros-bec de la Louisiane and the Latin Coccothraustes Ludoviciana.[2] Although Brisson coined Latin names, these do not conform to the binomial system and are not recognised by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.[3] When in 1766 the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus updated his Systema Naturae for the twelfth edition, he added 240 species that had been previously described by Brisson.[3] One of these was the rose-breasted grosbeak. Linnaeus included a brief description, coined the binomial name Loxia ludoviciana and cited Brisson's work.[4] This species is now placed in the genus Pheucticus that was introduced by the German naturalist Ludwig Reichenbach in 1850.[5][6] The species is monotypic.[6]

The genus name Pheucticus is from Ancient Greek pheuktiko, "shy", from pheugo, "to flee", and the specific ludovicianus is from New Latin and refers to Louisiana.[7]

Description

 src=
Immature male
 src=
Two males at feeder

Adult birds are 18–22 cm (7.1–8.7 in) long, span 29–33 cm (11–13 in) across the wings and weigh 35–65 g (1.2–2.3 oz).[8][9] Grosbeaks measured during migration in the West Indies averaged 43 g (1.5 oz), while those banded in Pennsylvania average about 45 g (1.6 oz).[10][11] Very little sexual dimorphism in size is seen; females were found to be marginally smaller in standard measurements, but in some seasons were marginally heavier than males when banded in Pennsylvania.[11][12][13] At all ages and in both sexes, the beak is dusky horn-colored, and the feet and eyes are dark.[14]

The adult male in breeding plumage has a black head, wings, back, and tail, and a bright rose-red patch on its breast; the wings have two white patches and rose-red linings. Its underside and rump are white. Males in nonbreeding plumage have largely white underparts, supercilium, and cheeks. The upperside feathers have brown fringes, and most wing feathers white ones, giving a scaly appearance. The bases of the primary remiges are also white. The coloration renders the adult male rose-breasted grosbeak (even while wintering) unmistakable if seen well.

The adult female has dark grey-brown upperparts – darker on wings and tail –, a white supercilium, a buff stripe along the top of the head, and black-streaked white underparts, which except in the center of the belly have a buff tinge. The wing linings are yellowish, and on the upperwing are two white patches like in the summer male. Immatures are similar, but with pink wing-linings and less prominent streaks and usually a pinkish-buff hue on the throat and breast. At one year of age—in their first breeding season—males are scaly above like fully adult males in winter plumage, and still retain the immature's browner wings. Unlike males, females can easily be confused with the black-headed grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus) where their ranges overlap in the central United States and south-central Canada. The rose-breasted grosbeak female has slightly darker brown markings on the underside, paler rather yellowish streaking on both the head and wings and paler, pinkish (rather than bi-colored) bill when compared to the female black-headed grosbeak.[15] A potential confusion species also is the female purple finch (Haemorhous purpureus), but that species is noticeably smaller with a less robust bill and a notched tail.[16]

The song is a subdued mellow warbling, resembling a more refined, sweeter version of the American robin's (Turdus migratorius). Males start singing early, occasionally even when still in winter quarters. The call is a sharp pink or pick, somewhat reminiscent of a woodpecker call.

Distribution and habitat

The rose-breasted grosbeak's breeding habitat is open deciduous woods across most of Canada and the northeastern United States. In particular, the northern birds migrate south through the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, to winter from central-southern Mexico through Central America and the Caribbean to Peru and Venezuela. The southern limit of its wintering range is not well known; it was, for example, only recorded in the Serranía de las Quinchas (Colombia) in the 1990s. In winter, they prefer more open woodland, or similar habitat with a loose growth of trees, such as forest edges, parks, gardens, and plantations, ranging from sea level into the hills, e.g. up to 5,000 ft (1,500 m) above mean sea level in Costa Rica.[17][18]

Migration

The first birds leave the breeding grounds as early as August, while the last ones do not return until mid-late May. In general, however, they migrate south in late September or in October, and return in late April or early May. It appears as if they remain on their breeding grounds longer today than they did in the early 20th century, when migrants were more commonly seen in May and August than in April or September. The rose-breasted grosbeak occurs as a very rare vagrant in western Europe. [19] During breeding it is fairly territorial; in winter, it roams the lands in groups of about a handful of birds, and sometimes in larger flocks of a dozen or more.

Behaviour and ecology

Breeding

Rose-breasted grosbeaks were the only one of 70 migratory songbird species in the eastern United States shown in males to have produced sperm while still far south of their breeding location.[20] Male grosbeaks tend to arrive a few days to a week before the females and pair formation apparently occurs on the breeding grounds.[21] Nest building begins from as early as early May in Tennessee to as late as early June further north in Saskatchewan.[22][23] Egg laying may occur anytime from mid-May to mid-July, as has been recorded in Quebec.[24] Usually only a single brood is laid by these grosbeaks each summer but second broods are suspected in Canada and confirmed in semi-captivity.[25][26] Both the male and the female apparently participate in selecting and building the nest, which is on a tree branch, over vines or any elevated woody vegetation.[27] Nests have been recorded at 0.8 to 16.7 m (2.6 to 54.8 ft) off the ground, averaging 6 m (20 ft) high, almost always in the vicinity of openings in woodlands.[28] Nests are typical of many passerines in both construct, material and size, made from leaves, twigs, rootlets or hair.[29] Clutches are from 1 to 5 eggs, normally being 3–4, being pale blue to green with purplish to brownish red spotting.[30] Males do a third of the incubation roughly, the female doing the remaining amount, and incubation can last from 11 to 14 days.[26] Nestlings are 5 g (0.18 oz) at hatching and after 3–6 days of age, they gain at least 3 g (0.11 oz) each day.[25] The young grosbeaks typically fledge at 9–13 days of age and are independent of their parents after approximately 3 weeks.[25][28]

Longevity and mortality

Maximum lifespan recorded for a wild rose-breasted grosbeak was 12 years, 11 months.[31] Captive grosbeaks have been recorded living up to 24 years of age, making them quite a long-living passerine excluding the pressures of surviving in the wild.[32] Although frequently targeted by the brood parasite, the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater), the rose-breasted grosbeak is apparently able to recognize cowbird eggs and has been seen to aggressively displace cowbirds near the nest.[33] Typically, fewer than 7% of grosbeak nests have cowbird eggs per one study.[34] Per the U.S. Bird Banding Laboratory, as of 1997, rose-breasted grosbeaks recovered when dead have largely collided with objects, including buildings and cars (17.2%) or had been shot (10%; mostly before 1960), 3.6% of the fatalities were caught by cats, 0.8% caught by dogs. Mortality due to natural causes, including disease, natural predators and inclement weather go largely unreported.[35] It is known the main cause of nesting failure is predation. Natural predators of eggs and nestlings include blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata), common grackles (Quiscalus quiscula), raccoons (Procyon lotor), gray (Sciurus carolinensis) and red (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) squirrels.[35][36] Confirmed predators of adults include both Cooper's (Accipiter cooperii)[37] and sharp-shinned hawks (Accipiter striatus)[38] as well as northern harriers (Circus cyaenus),[39] eastern screech-owls (Megascops asio)[40] and short-eared owls (Asio flammeus).[41]

Diet

The rose-breasted grosbeak forages in shrubs or trees for insects, seeds and berries, also catching insects in flight and occasionally eating nectar. It usually keeps to the treetops, and only rarely can be seen on the ground. In the winter quarters, they can be attracted into parks, gardens, and possibly even to bird feeders by fruit like Trophis racemosa. Other notable winter food includes jacaranda seeds and the fruits of the introduced busy Lizzy (Impatiens walleriana).[42] In grosbeaks from the north-central United States and southern Canada, 52% of the stomach contents were comprised by invertebrates, predominantly beetles; 19.3% was made up of wild fruits; 15.7% by weed seeds; 6.5% by cultivated fruits and plants, including peas, corn (Zea mays), oats (Avena sativa) and wheat (Triticum vulgare); and the remaining 6.5% by other plant material, including tree buds and flowers.[43]

Status

Fires are necessary to maintain many kinds of grassland (see Fire ecology). Fire suppression in the late-20th century allowed forests to spread on the Great Plains into areas where recurring fires would otherwise have maintained grassland. This allowed hybridization with the black-headed grosbeak subspecies P. melanocephalus papago.[44] Range expansions also seem to have occurred elsewhere, for example in northern Ohio, where it bred rarely if at all in the 1900s (decade), but it is by no means an uncommon breeder today. In general, though it requires mature woodland to breed and is occasionally caught as a cage bird, the rose-breasted grosbeak is not at all rare, and not considered a threatened species by the IUCN.[1][45][46][47] Its average maximum lifespan in the wild is 7.3 years.[48]

References

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  3. ^ a b Allen, J.A. (1910). "Collation of Brisson's genera of birds with those of Linnaeus". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 28: 317–335. hdl:2246/678.
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  19. ^ Henninger (1906), OOS (2004)
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Rose-breasted grosbeak: Brief Summary

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The rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) is a large, seed-eating grosbeak in the cardinal family (Cardinalidae). It is primarily a foliage gleaner. It breeds in cool-temperate North America, migrating to tropical America in winter.

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