English and Scientific names:

Black-headed Grosbeak, Pheucticus melanocephalus

Number of individuals: 

One adult male

Locality: LOUISIANA: 

Lafayette Parish

Specific Locality:

Soulanges Road at backyard feeders

Date(s) when observed:

First observed November 29th. 

Observed many times till present.

Time(s) of day when observed:  

From daybreak until noon. 

Reporting observer and address:

Stacey Scarce

Lafayette, LA  70508

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):


Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

Variable.  Full sun, overcast, partly cloudy.  Winter sun to my back.

Optical equipment: 

Swift Viceroy 10X42 binoculars, good condition.

Distance to bird(s): 

Thirteen feet at feeders to sixty feed perched in tree tops.

Duration of observation:

Many occasions, each occasion from less than a minute to more than 8 minutes.


Brushy field/bottomland hardwood interface.

Behavior of bird: 

Resting and feeding on treeside feeder.


Overall body is burnt orange with no streaking and much larger than purple finch and goldfinch at feeders.  Larger bill and body with similar shape to purple finch.  Noticed lemon yellow belly, bright black wings with bright white scapular, primary coverts and greater coverts.  Black head with burnt orange crown and eyebrow.


Did not hear

Similar species:

Rose-breasted grosbeak eliminated by burnt orange overall body of subject bird with no streaking and lemon yellow belly.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Photographs attached and taken by observer.

Previous experience with this species: 

Identified 3 individuals at same feeders last winter also identified many individuals on many occasions in California, Arizona and New Mexico.

Identification aids:

at time of observation: NG Birds of NA and Sibley Guide
after observation: Bill Fontenot, Sibley Guide

This description is written from: 

From notes taken at the time of observation and after observation.

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 




Stacey Scarce

Date and time: 

Tuesday, 6 December 2005, 11:05am