Here's some of my observations and hints on how to identify fledgling rose-breasteds in your yard.
What to look for: Watch for grosbeak young being fed by either mom or dad. In my yard, it's been mostly dad. Watch for a subtle wing quiver (not the dramatic huge wing quiver of fledgling jays!)
Listen for a low-volume, short whine coming from the trees. It sounds like a quiet, mid-pitched "aaahh".
Follow adult birds going toward these calls.
Look for these physical characteristics to help identify recently fledged grosbeaks:
* similar plumage to female but darker, browner
* smaller beak
* beak seems a bit pinker
* downier breast feathers
* shorter tail
Notice that these are NOT "itty-bitty birds". In the photo above of the male feeding the young from above, the fledgling has been well fed and looks just as big - if not even chunkier - than the adult!
Be sure not to confuse last year's males (born the previous summer) as being this year's young males.
Just a reminder that these gorgeous birds that add so much color to our lives are migratory birds, leaving us in the fall to return to their wintering grounds in central America and northern South America. They are known to winter in shade-grown coffee plantations. Be sure your coffee is a certified Bird-Friendly® coffee like Birds&Beans to ensure protection of their winter habitat.
Birds&Beans is available at Wild Birds Unlimited - Saratoga Springs NY and at a number of WBU shops across the US and Canada.