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An unusual time to be in the Texas Hill Country! Rose-breasted Grosbeak found at Mo-Ranch in the summer season.

A male Rose-breasted Grosbeak has been sighted on multiple occasions over the past few weeks at Mo-Ranch (June, 2015). They are a common migrant in the area, but typically are not found in the Texas Hill Country during the summer season. They should have already passed through the area, returning from their winter home in southern Mexico, Central America or northern South America for breeding season. During breeding season they can be found in moist deciduous forests, deciduous-coniferous forests, thickets, and semi open habitats across the northeastern United States, ranging into southeastern and central Canada.

The male Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a particularly stunning sight with his striking and unique bright black, white, and rose-red features. Females are streaked brown and white with a bold face pattern and enormous bill.

Interesting facts to share about the Rose-breasted Grosbeak!

– The Rose-breasted Grosbeak will mate with the Black-headed Grosbeak where the population densities of both species are low.

– The name “grosbeak” is from the French word grosbec and means “large beak.”

– Unlike most songbird species, the female is known to sing.

– A group of grosbeaks are collectively known as a “gross” of grosbeaks.

Attract them to your feeders with sunflower seed, their favorite. (We are willing to bet our sunflower seeds are what has kept him returning to our feeder for the time being!).

It’s not just Rose-breasted Grosbeaks that are being sighted here. Mo-Ranch is currently listed as a hotspot location on the popular birding website eBird, ranking 5th in Kerr County. Recent buzzworthy bird sightings include the sought after Golden-Cheeked Warbler, Painted Bunting, Black-Capped Vireo, Yellow-Throated Warbler, and more. Click here to see more of the recent sightings.

What’s not to love about these feathered beauties? We will stay on the lookout and hope to share some more photos soon with more sightings of our favorite feeder birds!

Birders are welcomed year-round at Mo-Ranch for day use at the ranch or for overnight lodging. Day use rates are just $10 a day and can be purchased through Guest Services in the Main Registration Building. For more information, contact 800.460.4401.

Photo provided by Mark Perhamus, taken at Mo-Ranch on June 29, 2015.

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