Friday, May 10, 2013

Rose-breasted Grosbeak - Immature Male

Late Thursday afternoon a male rose-breasted grosbeak was feeding from a caged feeder designed to exclude larger birds such as itself. It was quite successful in reaching its head through the cage to retrieve spilled sunflower chips from the bottom.

After I took the photos and did some research, I realized that this is an immature male in its first breeding season. When in full breeding plumage, a mature male's head will be fully black, the rose color will deepen, and the brownish streaks will disappear, leaving the bird with its stunning black, white and rose-red coloring.

What a beautiful bird.

On this date in 2011, I posted a photo of a male and female (shown below) on one of our other feeders. You can see how the immature male in the photos above is like a blend of the female and the mature male shown below.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak pair (2011)

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