This Female Black-headed Grosbeak Was Keeping An Eye On Me

This Female Black-headed Grosbeak Was Keeping An Eye On Me


Black-headed Grosbeak

I found this female Grosbeak in Arizona, US. The male has a black head with black and white wings, otherwise they look similar. They are a member of the cardinal family. Their song is like that of a robin’s but a bit softer and sweeter. 

Their habitat is deciduous and mixed woods. Migrates late in the spring and early in the fall. In the woods in western, US, they can be very common. They forage mostly in trees and shrubs, but they may also forage on the ground. Their diet consists of mostly insects, berries and seeds. They are among the few birds that are able to eat the Monarch butterfly. In the winter months in Mexico they will eat lots and lots of Monarchs, even though the Monarch butterfly contain noxious chemicals from eating milkweeds while in their larval stage!

The female will build the nest, but they both incubate the eggs. Though the female takes the night shift and will be the only one incubating the eggs at night, maybe they male is off at his night job? Both parents will feed the nestlings, who leave the nest after about 11 days, but they won’t be flying for 2 more weeks. 

They live from Southwestern Canada down through the western to central US and continuing down into Mexico. In their range they are considered common with a stable population, but this is the only one that I’ve ever seen. I was thrilled to see her and add her to my lifelist.

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