Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday's Foto

A relative of the widespread Northern Cardinal, the strikingly plumed Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a common breeding songbird of wooded habitats across midwestern and eastern North America. In the Great Plains, where their range overlaps with that of the Black-headed Grosbeak, these similar species sometimes hybridize. Nesting across most of Canada and the northeastern United States their preferred habitat is open deciduous woods. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks winter from central-southern Mexico through Central America and the Caribbean to Peru and Venezuela.

In breeding plumage the male has a black head, wings, back and tail, and a bright rose-red patch on its breast. Their wings have two white patches and rose-red linings. Females have brown streaked upperparts, buffy streaked underparts and yellow wing linings. It takes more than a year for them to acquire their adult plumage.

Their diet consists mainly of insects, seeds, and berries. In the late-summer and fall they feed heavily on berries and small fruits.

According to the IUCN Red list, the conservation status of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak is “Least Concern”, although their populations experienced a slow decline from 1966 to 2015. This songbird is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List. Because they look and sound pretty, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are commonly trapped for sale as caged birds in their wintering range, and this has an unknown impact on their population.

Their scientific name, Pheucticus ludovicianus, means (from Ancient Greek) pheuktiko, " shy", from pheugo , "to flee, and ludovicianus refers to Louisiana.

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