Black-Headed Grosbeak

Black-Headed Grosbeak
Black-Headed Grosbeak


The Black-Headed Grosbeak is a common visitor to much of the Western United States, where it breeds and raises its young during the summer. It migrates south during the fall, spending its winters in Mexico.


Deciduous trees and heavy brush are the preferred habitat of the Black-Headed Grosbeak. In Arizona, they frequent the oak-conifer forests found in many of the state’s canyons. Providing large trees and shrubs will help attract them to your yard.


You will find this bird foraging for seed, berries and insects, generally in its preferred  habitat of trees and brush. However, it is drawn to feeders with sunflower seed and fruit. Suet was the food of choice for the bird in the photo above while raising its young in a nearby mesquite tree.

Identifying the Black-Headed Grosbeak

The coloration is different between the male and female of this species. The dull orange color of the male’s body¬† is one of the first features that will draw your attention. The black head, tail, and wings with white markings are good identifiers for the male.

The female displays a streaked brown coloration on its back, similar to a sparrow. Its underparts a dull yellow. The female’s brown head features a white brow line.

Both sexes have a heavy bill, finch like, but thick at the base.