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Black-Headed Grosbeak

Black-Headed Grosbeak

Posted by Grange Co-op on 6th Oct 2013

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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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

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