After a couple of years of birding and enjoying the Black-headed Grosbeak, I started to wonder about it's name. I thought its massive bill in two shades of metallic gray was pretty cool, not gross. Then a french-speaking friend of mine told me that gros in French means thick. In the dictionary it defines gros as big, large, thick, and fat. Well, that does make sense and it is an appropriate name for this awesome bird of the western United States.
The Black-headed Grosbeak winters in Mexico. In April it is entering the American Southwest. By May, its distribution is widespread across the western United States. In June and July the range is still large, but sightings appear to be more isolated and regionalized as the Grosbeaks are nesting and raising their young. In August and September we start to see the southward push and by the end of October they have made their way back to Mexico. For my friends in the eastern half of the United States, your best chance at seeing a mis-guided vagrant Black-headed Grosbeak in your neck of the woods will be late fall or winter. I'll send you some Black-headed if you send me some Rose-breasted Grosbeaks!
|While shooting several frames of the Black-headed Grosbeak, another beautiful birding star (Lazuli Bunting) heard the click of the shutter and couldn't stand that the Grosbeak was getting all the paparazzi attention.|