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Female or immature male Rose-breasted Grosbeak?


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Seen yesterday under dark gloomy skies at DeSoto NWR near Missouri Valley, Iowa.  I initially thought this was just a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak, until it turned around.  Despite the muted colors (heavily overcast that day), I can clearly see pinkish red tones on it's chest.  This just seemed a little "different" from female RBGR that I've seen, and I've never seen an immature male RBGR, as far as I know. 

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Although I agree that this bird's chest is pretty "streaky", a Google image search for female RBGB didn't present any pics with reddish or rosy breasts, while an image search for immature males showed variations from very streaky, to no streaks at all.  I'm certainly no expert, and I value your thoughts on this, but I'll wait for more folks to share their wisdom. 

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I am far from an expert but I agree with @meghann, the red breast and wing pits indicate male and would be yellow tinged on a young female. I am pretty sure that the streaking on the chest would be within the range of variation, if this amount of streaking isn't actually typical for a bird of this age.

 

Edited by lonestranger
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Thanks everyone for your inputs.  Follow-up question--Since the consensus seems to lean towards immature/juvenile male RBGB, do they go through this transition every year?  Or would this be a "first summer" male?  Because I've only seen adult RBGB before yesterday, I'm unfamiliar with their molting process.

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3 minutes ago, smittyone@cox.net said:

Thanks everyone for your inputs.  Follow-up question--Since the consensus seems to lean towards immature/juvenile male RBGB, do they go through this transition every year?  Or would this be a "first summer" male?  Because I've only seen adult RBGB before yesterday, I'm unfamiliar with their molting process.

believe males do make this transition every year, as photos of males in their wintering grounds, such as Mexico, show them as more streaky as we see them up here.

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Here in Ontario the males show up in the spring with some of them showing their obvious adult male plumage and others look like they are mostly adult plumaged with remnants of juvenile plumage still lingering. I'm not sure how long it takes them to achieve all their adult feathers, but I don't think they ever look like juveniles after getting all of their adult feathers.

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