Rose-breasted Grosbeak Video Portrait

June 14, 2010 at Michigan Hollow, near Ithaca, New York

You can imagine my delight at capturing great video of a beautiful male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. I’m not saying he is my first, but he is definitely the prettiest male to date (all others were first-year males with undeveloped plumage). He was so darned cooperative that I imagine someone hired this bird to come sing for me . . . perhaps to celebrate my birthday that passed by just a few days prior.

placeholder image for the Rose-breasted Grosbeak video clip

The song of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a lilting musical carol, lasting several seconds and with five to ten seconds of silence between songs. It has been likened to the song of “a Robin who took singing lessons.” Although robin-like, the rich and vibrant quality of the grosbeak’s notes are unmistakable, even when heard at a great distance.

Lucky are we that live within the range of this beautiful and talented singer, who (in our area) seems to prefer open woodland next to shrubby clearings or wet areas.

Range map for Rose-breasted Grosbeakclick for large map with color codes

Update for blog followers:

I’ve been so busy for the last few weeks that I haven’t had any time to post videos. A brief trip to the Adirondacks yielded wonderful video of Lincoln’s Sparrow and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. Locally, around Ithaca, I’ve gotten great footage of Chestnut-sided Warbler, Song Sparrow, Rufous-sided Towhee, and more.

Now I’m headed off for two weeks in Maine. I’ll be visiting Eastern Egg Rock Island, where Steve Kress of the Audubon Society re-introduced puffins. Then on to northern Maine to meet a friend and hopefully gather more exciting video.

It’s a very busy time for me—sooner or later I’ll find the time to get all the new video up on the blog. Please be patient and stay tuned!


  1. Encountered a rose breasted grosbeak in La Paz Baja Sur,on April 11 2014. Seems to be out of normal range. Never seen one before.

  2. Very pretty! I agree, that those that live in the range of the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak should be glad we live with them. I also agree that their song does in fact sound like “a robin who took singing lessons.” Here in Michigan, they are common but more often heard than seen. Every year, male and female Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks come to our feeders. They usually only come in spring, but a couple weeks ago a juvenile male turned up at the suet feeders.

  3. Mr. Elliott
    Thanks so much for posting this!
    We have a RB Grosbeak visiting but did not know what song to listen for.
    Thanks to your video we have heard his lovely song.

    Anette McGee,
    Gainesville, Florida

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