English and Scientific names:

Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)

Number of individuals: 

1 presumed HY male


Cameron Parish

Specific Locality:

Peveto Beach Woods, ca. 3.5 mi. E of Johnson Bayou

Date(s) when observed:

30 October 2010 (heard only on 31 Oct)

Time(s) of day when observed:  

~12:00 12:05 PM (on 30 Oct), 12:30 PM (on 31 Oct)

Reporting observer and address:

Devin Bosler

Lafayette, LA 70506

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

m. ob.

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)

Michael Musemeche, Steve Pagans et al.

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

Clear sky with optimal midday sunlight. Sun angle relatively high and not a factor (behind the observers).


Optical equipment: 

Zeiss Victory FL 8x42, Kowa TSN 881 Angled 88mm scope w/ 20-60x optical zoom, Canon Powershot SD1100 IS digital camera (equipment in excellent condition).

Distance to bird(s): 

ca. 10-15 meters

Duration of observation:

5 min.


Heavily disturbed, fragmented coastal chenier woodlot with mature live oak-hackberry-pecan-honeylocust canopy and overgrown herbaceous understory of ragweed-goldenrod-baccharis-camphorweed, etc.

Behavior of bird: 

Perching high in dead pecan. Observed at rest and in flight.



A well-marked Pheucticus grosbeak. Dark brown upperparts. Brown wings with bold white wing bars and white patch at primary bases. Striking head pattern with pale whitish supercilium, dark auriculars, white moustachial stripe, and buffy nape. Rich buffy-cinnamon underparts with a patch of yellow at center of breast. Underside of tail uniform gray. Bicolored bill, darker brown upper mandible and paler flesh-horn lower mandible. Dark brown irides. Dull gray legs and feet.



Vocal, giving sharp eek.

Similar species:

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) can be immediately eliminated by buffy-cinnamon, unstreaked underparts. No other similar species.


Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Video by Devin Bosler. Yes, video images attached.

Previous experience with this species: 

Very familiar with BHGR from many trips out west. Observed almost daily at various locations throughout NM during summer 2007. One previous encounter in LA (Butte LaRose, St. Martin Parish on 6 Feb 2008). One adult male at Kendall Indian Hammocks Park (Miami-Dade Co.), FL on 2 May 2010.


Identification aids:

National Geographic Complete Birds of N.A. (Alderfer et al. 2005).

This description is written from: 

notes made during the observation, notes made after the observation, memory.

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



Date and time: 

13 November 2010 Time: 10:30 PM CST