Monday, August 30, 2010

Black-headed Grosbeak

Black-headed GrosbeakBlack-headed Grosbeak, Forest Grove, Oregon on 15 May 2009 by Greg Gillson.


Black-headed Grosbeaks are common migrants and summer residents throughout the Pacific NW. They arrive in May and are quite common in towns at bird feeders and in riparian areas and deciduous and mixed woods through September.

The male, pictured above, is rusty-orange on the breast and rump, yellow on the body, black on the back. It has a black head and black wings and tail with large white patches and spots. Males sing a clear, rapid, robin-like warble. Both sexes give a sharp pik call.

Females and young during the first year are duller overall (brownish and pale orange) with striped head ("chipmunk bird").

These songbirds take 2 years to reach full adult plumage. The immature male plumages have a more striped head and back than adults.