/grohs"beek'/, n.
any of various finches having a thick, conical bill.
[1670-80; < F grosbec, lit., large beak]

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Any of several songbird species in the family Fringillidae that have an exceptionally large, conical bill.

Most eat seeds. Species are found in North America (e.g., rose-breasted, black-headed, blue, and evening grosbeaks) and northern Eurasia (pine grosbeak). See also cardinal.

Evening grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina)

Karl H. Maslowski

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 any of several conical-billed birds belonging to the families Cardinalidae and Fringillidae. Their name is derived from the French gros bec, or “thick beak,” which is adapted to cracking seeds with ease.

      In the Fringillidae family, the evening grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus) is among the best-known in North America. Noisy flocks of these chunky big-billed yellow, black, brown, and white finches (finch) descend upon bird feeders in winter for sunflower seeds. Although the evening grosbeak was originally a western bird, feeders have helped it expand its breeding range all the way to New England and the Maritime Provinces.

      The pine grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator) of northern Eurasia and North America forages in small flocks and sometimes flies great distances in winter in search of its natural food (in Europe, mainly mountain-ash berries). Adult males are a bright reddish colour, and females are mostly brown.

      Within the family Cardinalidae, two species of grosbeak nest in North America: the rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) and the black-headed grosbeak (P. melanocephalus), which range east and west of the Rockies, respectively. Some authorities believe the two forms represent a single species, even though the coloration of the males' underparts differs: red and white in the rose-breasted and brownish yellow in the black-headed grosbeak.

Sy Montgomery

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Grosbeak — Gros beak, n. [Gross + beak: cf. F. gros bec.] (Zo[ o]l.) One of various species of finches having a large, stout beak. The common European grosbeak or hawfinch is {Coccothraustes vulgaris}. [1913 Webster] Note: Among the best known American… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • grosbeak — 1670s, partial translation of Fr. grosbec; see GROSS (Cf. gross) + BEAK (Cf. beak) …   Etymology dictionary

  • grosbeak — [grōs′bēk΄] n. [Fr grosbec: see GROSS & BEAK] any of various passerine birds (family Fringillidae or Emberizidae) with a thick, strong, conical bill …   English World dictionary

  • Grosbeak — NOTOC Grosbeak is the name given to a form taxon containing several species of seed eating passerine birds with large beaks. Although they all belong to the superfamily Passeroidea, they are not a natural group but rather a polyphyletic… …   Wikipedia

  • grosbeak — /ˈgroʊsbik/ (say grohsbeek) noun any of various American and European birds of the family Fringillidae, having large, stout, conical bills, as the pine grosbeak, Pinicola enucleator. {French grosbec large beak} …   Australian English dictionary

  • grosbeak — juodagalviai svilikai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Eophona angl. grosbeak rus. черноголовый дубонос, m pranc. gros bec, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – čivyliai siauresnis terminas – didysis juodagalvis svilikas… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • grosbeak — noun Etymology: part translation of French grosbec, from gros thick + bec beak Date: circa 1678 any of several finches (especially families Cardinalidae and Fringillidae) of Europe and America having large stout conical bills …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • grosbeak — noun Any of several finches and cardinals that have a large, powerful bill …   Wiktionary

  • grosbeak —  Species of finch …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • grosbeak — gros·beak || grəʊsbɪːk n. any of a number of small birds having a thick conical bill …   English contemporary dictionary

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