Basic Description. Bursting with black, white, and rose-red, male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are like an exclamation mark at your bird feeder or in your binoculars. Females and immatures are streaked brown and white with a bold face pattern and enormous bill. Look for these birds in forest edges and woodlands.
All grosbeaks—rose-breasted, blue, black-headed, pine and evening—share a common characteristic: a thick, conical bill for cracking tough seeds. Although these species go by the same descriptive name, they belong to different families. Pine and evening grosbeaks are finches; the others are in the cardinal family.
Finches and Evening Grosbeaks flock to black-oil sunflower seeds. To attract grosbeaks, go big: while these large birds may be able to squeeze onto a tube feeder, you’ll have better results offering the seeds on a platform feeder.
Oystercatchers are hard to miss. They are large black and white wading birds, with long, orange-red bills and reddish-pink legs.
Encountering a grosbeak may indicate trustworthiness. If a grosbeak chooses to visit your home or allow you to admire its plumage up close, this may be a sign that the bird has sensed that you are gentle and trustworthy enough to approach.
Grosbeak are a medium sized bird that is known to spend time visiting a great many yards. Grosbeaks are friendly birds love a good garden aesthetic and can easily be convinced to appear with the right snacks and setup.
Cardinalidae (often referred to as the “cardinal-grosbeaks” or simply the “cardinals”) is a family of New World-endemic passerine birds that consists of cardinals, grosbeaks, and buntings. It also includes several birds such as the tanager-like Piranga and the warbler-like Granatellus.
Like the Northern Cardinal, it is a passerine or perching bird, which we often think of as a songbird. Despite the relative rarity of sightings compared to its Cardinal cousin, it is not a threatened species and is relatively abundant throughout its range. This “grosbeak” designation can be a bit befuddling.
Compare with Similar Species- White-winged Crossbill.
Sunflower seeds, both in the shell and out-of-shell meats appeal to finches, chickadees, nuthatches, grosbeaks, Northern cardinals, blue jays and even some woodpeckers.
Grape Jelly is loved by birds, especially tanagers and orioles but other fruit-eating birds such as catbirds, woodpeckers, House Finch, robins, Yellow-rumped Warblers, grosbeaks, Cape May Warbler, Brown Thrashers, and Northern Mockingbirds.
Favorite foods of the Evening Grosbeak include seeds, fruits and insects, although this bird does enjoy eating sunflower seeds at bird feeders.
“Entice flickers with peanut hearts or sunflower seeds on a platform, the ground or a large hopper feeder,” says Emma. “They like foraging on the ground, which is why ground feeders are the most ideal.
In Native American traditions, flickers are lucky birds associated with healing, medicine, and visitors. Additionally, the flicker’s plumage associates these birds with the sun. The Lenape tradition associates flickers with symbiosis, balance, and nurturing.
Northern Flickers in western North America have red under the tail and wings, where Gilded Flickers are yellow. Northern Flickers also have less brown on the head than Gilded Flickers.
Cardinal Meaning and Symbolism
For many bird lovers, the sight of a cardinal holds special meaning, sometimes evoking emotional or spiritual feelings. They say the vibrant red bird is an uplifting, happy sign that those we have lost will live forever, so long as we keep their memory alive in our hearts.
Seeing a female cardinal means that you will receive good news or something positive will happen for you in the future. The female cardinal is a sign of bright days ahead in which you can turn your dreams into a reality.
Evening Grosbeaks are large, heavyset finches with very thick, powerful, conical bills.
Females and immatures are brown and heavily streaked, with a bold whitish stripe over the eye. Males flash pink-red under the wings; females flash yellowish. Both sexes show white patches in the wings and tail. These chunky birds use their stout bills to eat seeds, fruit, and insects.
Rose breasted grosbeaks mostly stick to foraging for insects, seeds and fruit in the foliage of trees, but they will come to backyard feeders. Make sure your feeders are full during migration months, when they’ll need the most energy.