Black-headed grosbeak Black-headed grosbeak

Fun Critter Facts

The Black-headed grosbeak is one of 4 grosbeak species of grosbeak in Wyoming (the others being the evening, the blue, and the rose-breasted grosbeak), and can be quite common in portions of the state.  
- Much like parrots, grosbeaks have very heavy bills, perfectly suited for crushing large seeds and heavily armored insects.  Unlike most bird species, black headed grosbeaks are capable of feeding on monarch butterflies in large numbers, apparently suffering from no ill effects from the toxins monarchs produce.  Balck-headed grosbeaks can be very common at bird feeders in portions of Wyoming, especially at sunflower feeders.
- Black-headed grosbeaks are an "edge species" preferring a mix of canopies and life stages of woodlands and shrubs.  Breeding displays are quite acrobatic and raucous and intense male battles are common.  This species prefers to nest in trees or large shrubs up to 25-30 feet in height, typically in a dense canopy.  They lay 2-5 eggs in a typical nest cup and incubate for about two weeks prior to hatching,  Young are helpless at birth but fledge quickly.  Jays and magpies can be significant nest predators, but black -headed grosbeaks appear capable of defending their nests from most attempts with extreme aggression.  
 

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