The rose-breasted grosbeak is one of our favorite feeder birds. However, since it only nests in Georgia in the hardwood forests found in the higher elevations of the Blue Ridge Mountains, most of us only get to see this striking bird during its spring and fall migrations.
A couple of weeks ago Debbie in Forsyth reported one at her feeder. However, my wife spotted the first rose-breasted grosbeak in our yard October 3.
The male rose-breasted grosbeak is easy to identify. It is our only bird that has black and white plumage and a bright red triangle on its breast.
Females are a little trickier to identify as they look much like a very large sparrow with brown upperparts and wings. Its breast is off white and streaked with brown. She also displays a white line over her eye.
The birds that are currently passing through the state are en route to their winter home which extends from Mexico southward into South America.
If you would like to give yourself a chance to see one of these birds fill one of your feeders with black oil sunflower seeds.
While it is possible to see a migrating rose-breasted grosbeak just about anywhere in the state, your chances are better if you live in the western portion of the Peach State.