Family: Cardinalidae, Cardinals
Description: 8" (20 cm). Starling-sized. Heavy pinkish-white bill. Male black and white with conspicuous rose-red patch on breast and underwings. Female white above and below with heavy brown streaking; prominent white eyebrow; yellow wing linings.
Habitat: Moist woodlands adjacent to open fields with tall shrubs; also old and overgrown orchards.
Nesting: 4 or 5 purple-spotted whitish eggs in a loosely made nest of twigs, grass, and plant fibers set in a low branch of a tree.
Range: Breeds from northeastern British Columbia, southern Manitoba, and Nova Scotia south to southern Alberta, central North Dakota, central Oklahoma, and New Jersey, and in mountains as far south as northern Georgia. Appears regularly on West Coast. Winters from central Mexico through Central America and into northern South America.
Voice: Its distinctive call note is a sharp, penetrating, metallic eek-eek. Song is like that of an American Robin, but softer and more melodious.
Discussion: This handsome grosbeak is one of the most conspicuous birds before the foliage comes into full leaf in early May. It is beneficial to farmers, consuming many potato beetles and larvae as well as weed seeds, wild fruits, and buds.