English and Scientific names:

Black-headed Grosbeak, Pheuticus melanocephalus

Number of individuals: 

One first-winter male



Specific Locality:


Date(s) when observed:

October 30, 2010

Time(s) of day when observed:  

3:05 PM

Reporting observer and address:

John P. Sevenair

New Orleans LA 70124

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

Joelle Finley, Ken Harris, others

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)


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

The bird was in the top of a tree.  It was sunlit; the afternoon sun was behind me.

Optical equipment: 

Zeiss 7x42 binoculars, recently cleaned and refurbished

Distance to bird(s): 

About 30'

Duration of observation:

About 5 minutes


Open oak woods of Peveto, a hundred yards or less from the Gulf of Mexico

Behavior of bird: 

The bird flew a couple of times while I was watching, always within the same small clump of trees.  It was probably responding to birders\' pursuit.


It was about the size of a cardinal.  I concentrated on photography, not making notes.  A photo will be sent


Not heard

Similar species:

The overall size and the size of the beak mean it's a grosbeak.  The face pattern and orange-brown belly make it a Black-headed Grosbeak.  For details see the photo.

Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

I took some photos, cropped the best one to eliminate irrelevant shrubbery, and will attach it.  Many photographers were present and shooting.

Previous experience with this species: 

I've seen Black-headed Grosbeaks twice before in Louisiana and several times out west.

Identification aids:

Other birders told me the bird was present.  Joelle Finley spotted the bird and called others present to come see it.

 I used The Sibley Guide to Birds to verify details while writing this report

This description is written from: 

I made a note of the time immediately after the observation.  The rest is from memory and the photo

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



Date and time: 

November 1, 2010