Hotline Photos

Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak ID

19 Apr 2014
Galveston County, Texas

(E-mail from Kris Purdy --  10 May 2014) : [italics and link added]

My yard in Ogden, Weber County, just hosted what I think may have been a female ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK. She briefly approached a seed block thatís almost gone (woe is meóI meant to replace it with a new one yesterday and didnít get to it) and then headed elsewhere, possibly to other seed sources in the yard that Iíll continue to watch. Anyway, she appeared to have an all-pink bill, base color of her breast was off-white with little, if any, rust wash, and streaks that continued without interruption across her breast. My only doubt was that the streaking across the breaks was not quite as dark and coarse as I expected it to be. Then, she dumped me.

Itís quite possible that females of the two species overlap in colors and field marks.

This is the time of year we might see a look-a-like Rose-breasted Grosbeak and not realize it because theyíre so similar in size and structure to female Black-headed Grosbeaks. So watch for the three subtle field marks Iíve mentioned above. I invite contributions from anyone else who has struggled with these subtle differences to help shed light on a confusing ID. You wonít find any images of the females in the Utah Birds gallery, quite possibly because the girls are so easy to mistake for female Black-headed Grosbeaks, but the boys are unmistakable.


(E-mail from John Crawley to Kris Purdy --  10 May 2014) :

They are very similar! Here are a couple shots of a female ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK I made in Texas last month. If itís any help you can show them to anyone with questions.

John Crawley


Photos by John Crawley

Cropped from the original to show details
 (original composition)

Cropped from the original to show details
 (original composition)

Photos by John Crawley   ©John Crawley

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