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Black-headed Grosbeak. | by Alexandra Rudge. Merry Christmas!
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Black-headed Grosbeak.

The Black-headed Grosbeak, Pheucticus melanocephalus, is a medium-size seed-eating bird in the same family as the Northern Cardinal, the Cardinalidae. It is sometimes considered conspecific with the Rose-breasted Grosbeak, P. ludovicianus, with which it hybridises on the Great Plains.


The 19 cm long, 47 g weight Black-headed Grosbeak is a migratory bird, with nesting grounds from southwestern British Columbia, through the western half of the United States, into central Mexico. It occurs as an accidental further south in Central America.


The Grosbeak’s song is a rich warble that is similar to that of an American Robin but more fluent, faster, softer, sweeter and mellow with rising and falling passages that make the song much longer than the Robin’s. The note is a sharp ik or eek. Both the male and female sing, but have different songs.



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Taken on May 18, 2012