Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Today the rose breasted Grosbeaks returned to the feeders. With it’s triangular scarlet breast patch, black back and white underparts the male rose-breasted grosbeak is a North American beauty. This gorgeous songbird remains plentiful in a variety of habitats. Songbird Prairie is a certified wildlife habitat. The male’s robin like song is punctuated by a chip. I think it sounds like a robin with a cold. I think they are so striking in flight, the male flashes rose-red under his wings with a wide rectangular white wing patch, just gorgeous. The female has a dramatically different appearance. She resembles a large finch, streaked below and has a broad white line both above her eye and below her dark ear patch. In fall, immature males look similar by having an orangey wash across the underparts. The grosbeak prefers to nest in open woodlands or at a forest edge. They vacation over the winter in the tropics. What a long flight! It has a versatile, heavy bill, and feeds both on vegetable and animal matter. During fall migration, it mostly east berries and seeds. including sunflower seeds. That is why they stay at the feeders for several minutes. Insect prey in summer, may include beetles, bees, ants, bugs, and caterpillars. The female grosbeak builds her nest in a tree or tall shrub usually between 5 and 20 feet above the ground. Assisted a bit by the male, she works twigs, weeds, and leaves into the loosely woven open cup nest then usually lays four eggs. Both parents incubate for about two weeks, then feed the nestlings, which leave the nest between 9 and 12 days. Why they are so plentiful here at Songbird Prairie, their diet consists of elderberry, juneberry, raspberry, blackberry and mulberry, all of which we have here. They are a beautiful sight. You may view them while you are enjoying your breakfast here at Songbird Prairie Inn and Spa, here in Northwest Indiana. Cone to have Breakfast With The Birds!

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