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Home Backyard Bird Guide America's Top Backyard Birds America's Top Backyard Birds - Western North America Black-headed Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak

Bird Food Preferences

Black-oil sunflower, striped sunflower, and sunflower hearts

Bird Feeder Preferences

Hopper and platform

Plants to Attract

Woody Plants: Apricot, blackberry, cherry, crab apple, elderberry, fig, juneberry, mulberry, and prune; Non-woody Plants: Alfilaria, bur clover, catchfly,
chickweed, cranesbill, dock, milk thistle, pigweed, red maids, smartweed, and strawberry


Black-headed Grosbeaks are found throughout the west from southern Canada to southern Mexico.  They are common in mature deciduous forests and prefer habitats with large trees and a developed understory.  

Black-headed Grosbeaks are on average seven inches in length and weigh around 1.5 ounces.  Black-headed Grosbeaks are sexually dimorphic, which means the male and female of the same species differ in appearance.  Males have black heads and orange chests.  Their wings and tail are black with white markings.  Females have brown-streaked bodies with areas of yellow.  Their heads and wings are brown and they have a white eyestripe. 

The female builds the nest in the outer branches of trees or bushes with twigs, plant stems, and pine needles.  She lines the nest with fine stems and hair.  Both male and female grosbeaks share the responsibilities of incubating the eggs and feeding the young.   

Similar Species

Purple Finch and Rose-breasted Grosbeak


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