Field Notes

Mark S. Szantyr
79. by Mark S. Szantyr on July 14, 2011 at 12:15 pm

An adult ( apparent) male Rose-breasted Grosbeak was at my feeder this year, along with 4 or 5 others and this bird showed distinct bold spotting in the flanks while the others did not. Is this age-related? Pictures in the community gallery above.

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Citation: Personal Experience. I observe this regularly, highly confident.

Dave Irons
reply by Dave Irons on July 15, 2011 at 01:22 am

This is an interesting question. In looking at our species account gallery, the bird in photos #2 and #3 shows some black spotting on the flanks. The bird in image #1 (with the drooped wings) is clearly a first spring bird (note molt limits in flight feathers), yet it does not seem to show black spotting on the flanks as far as I can tell. My inclination would be to think that birds with spotted flanks might be one-year-olds, but the spotted flanked birds show no evidence of molt limits, thus they appear to be at least two years of age.

Mark S. Szantyr
81. by Mark S. Szantyr on July 15, 2011 at 01:33 am

Sibley illustrates an adult male with indistinct spotting in a buffy wash. Allowing for artistic license, I have never noticed this buffy on birds in the field and the spotting on the birds in the gallery is much more distinct. This might be a job or a museum visit and a session of skin perusal.

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Citation: Personal Experience. I observe this regularly, highly confident.

Bob Archer
128. by Bob Archer on March 05, 2013 at 08:08 am

The buffy wash you see is simply newer feathers, they become whiter as they wear. The red will have a dirty look to it until the edges of the feathers wear down a bit to a purer red aspect.

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Citation: Personal Experience. I observe this regularly, highly confident.

Dave Irons
reply by Dave Irons on March 05, 2013 at 01:35 pm

Great post Bob! Last Fall we saw a freshly molted male RBGR and what you describe was fully in evidence.

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Sightings

Date Submitted By Count
06/10/14 Steven Mauvais, OR #
07/10/11 Billy Bump, MS 1
09/29/12 Dave Irons, OR 1
06/23/12 Joshua Kelver #
05/27/12 Dave Irons, OR 1
05/13/12 Caleb Arrison, PA 1
05/13/12 Matthew Cross #
05/08/12 Caleb Arrison, PA 1
12/31/11 Marjolein Schat, NJ #
06/25/11 Dave Irons, OR 2
02/27/11 Shawneen Finnegan, OR #

Recent Activity

Activity Date & Time
Steven Mauvais added Rose-breasted Grosbeak to their Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge smart list 6/10/2014 at 9:51PM
Bob Archer added a note to Rose-breasted Grosbeak Notes 3/05/2013 at 8:08AM
Dave Irons answered a question for the Rose-breasted Grosbeak 3/05/2013 at 12:03AM
anne normandeau asked a question for the Rose-breasted Grosbeak 3/04/2013 at 11:55AM
Caleb Arrison added Rose-breasted Grosbeak to their Waynesburg, pa smart list 5/13/2012 at 1:28PM
Mark S. Szantyr added a note to Rose-breasted Grosbeak Notes 7/15/2011 at 1:33AM
Mark S. Szantyr added a note to Rose-breasted Grosbeak Notes 7/14/2011 at 12:15PM