"I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven."
Emily Dickinson

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Black-headed grosbeaks have arrived

My first sighting of the season on April 16. Photo by J.J. Meyer

This male seemed frustrated by the nyjer feeder. Photo by J.J. Meyer

These beautiful songbirds from the cardinal family breed in the spring and summer in the western United States and into the southern part of Canada.  Breeding males have a bright orange collar and underparts. Its head is black with a large gray bill. It has black wings with white patches. The females are less colorful with dull orange underparts, and a distinct white eyebrow and chin stripe.

Grosbeaks have large triangular bills, that gives them their name. These large bills allow them to crack seeds and crush large insects such as beetles. Look for them at feeders and hopping around near the brush foraging for insects. Grosbeaks also love fruit and often visit oriole feeders.

Offer black oil sunflower seeds, millet and cracked corn to attract them to your yard. 

Happy birding!

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