English and Scientific names:

Black-headed Grosbeak - Pheucticus melanocephalus

Number of individuals: 

Two, 1st winter males*

*[Note from Stacey Scarce: I would like to amend the rare bird report that I submitted January 5, 2005.
The January 5th report stated that I had two black-headed grosbeaks visiting
my backyard feeders on a regular basis.  These two birds were seen many
times until April 05, 2005 when there were 3 black-headed grosbeak at my
feeder.  This is the only time I saw three black-headed grosbeak.  On April
07, 2005 I saw one black-headed grosbeak and haven't seen any since.  I have
enclosed a photograph of all 3 black-headed grosbeak at my backyard feeder on April 05, 2005.]


Locality: LOUISIANA: 


Specific Locality:

Soulanges Road at backyard feeders.

Date(s) when observed:

First observed one of the two December 8, 2004 at 8:00 am.  First observed both at same feeder December 25, 2004. Observed many times from December 8 till present.

Time(s) of day when observed:  

From daybreak till 5pm.

Reporting observer and address:

Stacey Scarce

Lafayette, LA 

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 feet perched in tree tops

Duration of observation:

Many occasions, each occasion from less than a minute to more than 10 minutes.


Brushy field/bottomland hardwood interface

Behavior of bird: 

Resting, feeding on treeside feeder and feeding on ground


Noticed burnt orange underparts and much larger bird than the purple, house, and gold finches at feeders.  Larger bill and body with similar shape to purple finch.  Greater secondary coverts and median coverts white tipped.  White eyebrow, black eye stripe, brownish cheeks, white malar, black crown, and burnt orange underparts with no streaking.


Did not hear

Similar species:

Female/immature rose breasted grosbeak eliminated by burnt oragne underparts of subject bird down through most of belly with no streaking.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Attached photos taken by observer

Previous experience with this species: 

Identified in California and Arizona

Identification aids:

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

Bill Fontenot, Sibley Guide

This description is written from: 

Notes taken at time and after observation

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




Stacey Scarce

Date and time: 

January 5, 2005