Black-Headed Grosbeak

In the spring in the West, fill a feeder with sunflower seeds (in the shell or out), and you may soon discover a pair of Black-Headed Grosbeaks nesting nearby.


Geri Coe
Black-Headed Grosbeak
George Harrison
Black-Headed Grosbeak


Black Headed GrosbeakGeorge Harrison
George Harrison Black-Headed Grosbeak

Scientific Name: Pheucticus melanocephalus.
Family: Cardinal.
Length: 8 inches.
Wingspan: 12-1/2 inches.
Distinctive Markings: Male has a black head, brownish-orange underparts and bicolored bill, and a black and white tail and white wing patches. Female is brown with a striped head, back and sides.
Nest: Located in the dense outer foliage of a tree or shrub, the nest is built of natural materials, string and hair and holds two to five green or blue spotted eggs.
Voice:  A hurried, whistled, warbling song, like a nervous robin.
Habitat: Open oak woods, riversides, canyons.
Diet: Seeds, berries and insects.
Backyard Favorites: Sunflower seeds.

Bird Song & Range Map

Listen to the Black-Headed Grosbeak’s song and learn where to spot them!

Bird songs provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Black-headed Grosbeak Bird SpeciesRange maps provided by Kaufman Field Guides, the official field guide of Birds & Blooms.

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find her reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.