English and Scientific names:

Black-headed Grosbeak,

Pheucticus melanocephalus

Number of individuals: 

1 immature male


St Martin Parish

Specific Locality:

Home of Jim Delahoussaye on the Atchafalaya River. 2 miles south of I-10.

Date(s) when observed:

Feb 23, 2010. Present since December 18, 2009.

Time(s) of day when observed:  


Reporting observer and address:

Dave Patton
Lafayette, LA 

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

Jim Delahoussaye

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)


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


Optical equipment: 

binocs and photo 300mm lens

Distance to bird(s): 

30 feet

Duration of observation:

3 minutes


Backyard feeder on a home site along the Atchafalaya River with some open yard, but mostly wooded swamp and river bank.

Behavior of bird: 

Feeding at a seed feeder with about 100 other birds. Most of the other birds were Cardinals and Goldfinches. The feeder was just outside the kicthen window. The BHGR was rather skittish and only stayed a few minutes. This is typical according to Jim and he was not seen every day. 


A little larger than the Cardinals. Heavy seed eater bill that had a bi-colored appearance. Head was stripped with black and orangish white. The stripes were very broad and the auriculars were all black. Throat and breast were a dull orange extending along sides of breast and turning into a white belly. There was a central region of the breast that was a yellow streak. The wings were mostly black with two bold white wing bars. The inner primaries had a few adult fresh feathers with the outer primaries still juvenile. This is a feature of a juvenile bird. The tail also had a mix of juvenile and adult feathers. The adult tail feathers were black with white spots. See photo's.



Similar species:

Rose-breasted. See photo's.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Dave Patton
300mm lens.

Previous experience with this species: 

A few.

Identification aids:


This description is written from: 

Memory and photo's

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



Date and time: 

March 3, 2010.