How Do I Attract Rose-breasted Grosbeaks?

The distinctive red, black, and white plumage of the male Rose-breasted Grosbeak make these birds a popular visitor to our backyards during spring and summer. They return to our area every year around May 1st. With the right food, habitat, and a little luck, you can have these birds visiting your yard all summer long.

Like their non-migratory cousins, the Northern Cardinals, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are very fond of sunflower seeds. You can offer both black oil sunflower and safflower seeds. Grosbeaks are a larger bird and need room to perch when they feed. They love open and covered tray feeders, but will also readily visit hopper feeders or tube feeders with trays on the bottom. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks consume huge quantities of insects, especially beetles, so it is important to avoid using pesticides in your yard which can end up poisoning these birds.

Typically, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks begin leaving our area in late September, although it is not uncommon to see birds late into October. They'll spend the winter in Central and South America before making the return trip next year. Like many of our migratory birds, they benefit from tropical habitat saved through bird-friendly shade-grown coffee farms.