Black-Headed Grosbeak

Black-Headed Grosbeak
Male: Black head; orange-chestnut neck, breast, flanks and rump; yellowish belly; bold irregular shaped white markings on black wing. In flight, shows white patches on wings and yellow “armpits.” Female: Paler upper parts than male; buff to whitish neck and underparts; buff eyebrow; light streaking on buff breast; white wing bars. Immature: Male similar to adult female, but more orange below with no streaking. Female like adult female. Immature plumage kept until following spring.

Black-Headed GrosbeakNESTING:

Female builds a cup nest, loosely built with twigs, rootlets, flower heads, and forb stems lined with finer stems and rootlets. Nest is placed in the fork of a tree or shrub 4-25" above the ground, often near water. Both male and female incubate one brood per year of 3-4 bluish-green eggs with brown spots.

FEEDING:

Forages in the foliage of trees, eating pine and other seeds, wild berries, insects and spiders. Comes to bird feeders primarily for sunflower seeds, safflower, and fruit.

RECOMMENDED FEED:

Black oil sunflower, grey striped sunflower and safflower. Rogue Deluxe, Rogue Premium and Rogue Chickadee. Shop Wild Bird Food.

RECOMMENDED FEEDER:

Forever sunflower feeders, tube feeders for mixed seed, platform feeders. Shop Wild Bird Feeders.

HABITAT:

Deciduous and mixed woodland forests, thickets, bottomland willows and cottonwoods, riparian and lakeshore woodlands, maple forests and high-elevation aspen groves.

OTHER INTERESTING FACTS:

Common breeding summer resident and migrant from mid-April through May and from early August to mid-September. Migrates in winter to Mexico, Central America and South America. Both males and females sing and aggressively defend their nests. Contact call is a ‘pik’; male’s song is a leisurely whistled warble often confused with the American Robin.

COMPARE TO:

Male Bullock’s Oriole has a slimmer, longer bill for nectar feeding; brighter underparts; orange face with dark eye line.
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October 5, 2013
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