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Birds of North America, Vagrant Visitors, Introduced Birds and Possibilities

Black-headed Grosbeak

Cardinal à tête noire

Pheucticus melanocephalus

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Species: The Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus), is an attractive large billed forest dwelling bird, similar in appearance to the Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Which will hybridize with each other in the central regions of the continent, where both species overlap. Found in the western regions of Canada, and into the western and west central regions of the USA, right into Mexico. This grosbeak is a regular visitor to bird feeders, prefers a variations of seeds and fruit.

Distinctions: Sexually dimorphic, whereas, the male in breeding plumage is seen with a black head, back, tail and wings, brownish orange around nape, breast and flanks. The female is more so seen in a lighter brown plumage, with an orange tone. Both sexes have white wing bars, seen with yellow under wing linings when flying.

Voice: Loud flute like warbling lyrics, usually song from high up in the crown of the tree tops.

Nesting: Three to four greenish eggs, with brown spots. Builds its nest in deciduous forest and forest edges. The Black-headed Grosbeak has one brood per year.

Birds of North America
B L W W W Family Latin Name
8.25" 21cm 12.5" 31.7cm 1.6 oz 45.3g Cardinalidae Pheucticus melanocephalus

  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter

Distribution: Seen in the breeding season, from the Northern British Columbia to along the southern Canadian borders to Saskatchewan, down through the central USA states into Mexico, west to California, back up north, into Canada along the western coast lines.

References to Other Bird Sites:

Avibase - the world bird database

ABA - American Birding Association

AOS - The American Ornitholgy Society

ABC - American Bird Conservancy

eBird - TheCornellLab of Ornithology

NA - National Geographic

NAC - National Audubon Society

Classic Collection of North American Birds