Black-headed Grosbeaks can be a common sight in
the western U.S., primarily in and around deciduous woodlands. They can be
quite tame, and in some areas have even been known to allow the patient birder to hand-feed
Black-headed Grosbeaks are one of the very few birds that will consume Monarch
Butterflies, which normally are too noxious for birds to consume. A
male is shown in the photo on the right. A photo of a female can be found
at the bottom of the page.
Habitat: Primarily deciduous forests,
woodlands, and groves. Sometimes found in mixed forest, rarely in pure
Diet: Insects, seeds, fruits, and berries. Feeds
heavily on insects in the summer, as well as spiders and snails. Will eat
a variety of seeds and berries, as well as cultivated fruit.
Behavior: Primarily forages by moving through
branches and foliage of shrubs and trees, gleaning insects from foliage and
taking fruit. Will also forage on the ground, or occasionally by
flying out and capturing insects in mid-air.
Nesting: June and July
Song: A fast, high-pitched warbling.
Also a high crisp pik call.
Migration: Summers throughout most of the western
U.S. Winters in Mexico and points south.
Bird Feeders: Will attend feeders for various
Conservation Status: Numbers appear to be stable.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Black-headed Grosbeak"
eNature.com: Black-headed Grosbeak
Photo Information: July 1st, 2011 - Glacier National
Park, Montana - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Black-headed Grosbeak photos.