ANIMAL: Black-Headed Grosbeak Pheucticus melanocephalus Type of Animal: Songbird Habitat: Woodland, forest, patches of broadleaved trees/shrubs within conifer forests, streamside corridors, river bottoms, lakeshores w/ large trees/thick bushes/shrubbery, wetlands, suburban areas, edge habitats, cottonwood/aspen groves on floodplains, cottonwood/aspen groves on stream margins, deciduous canyons/valleys w/ large trees/rich understory, gardens w/ large trees/rich understory, orchards w/ large trees/rich understory, subtropical/tropical lowlands w/ rich understory/large trees, streamside groves of cottonwood/willow, streamside trees, brushy riparian areas, mesquite groves, tropical brush, desert washes, thickets on open woodland edges/ponds/swamps/streams, swampy areas w/ mix of trees/shrubs, yards w/ lots of trees, riversides, canyons, desert Location(s): W & C North America from SW Canada to Mexico w/ vagrants in Central America Appearance: Males have black heads/wings/tails w/ prominent white patches, dark to tawny orange breast, & yellow belly. Females have brown heads/necks/back w/ black streaks, white streaks down middle of head/over eyes/on cheeks, white breast, & grayish-brown wings/tail w/ 2 white wing bars/yellowish wing edges. Both sexes have large bills. Fairly stocky bird. Food/Diet: Beetles, caterpillars, wasps, bees, flies, butterflies, spiders, snails, seeds, berries, fruit, oats, wheat, nectar, grape jelly, grasshoppers, scale insects, cankerworms, buds, suet, vegetables, butterfly/moth larvae Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Protected by Migratory Bird Treaty Act Lifestyle: Flocks of 2-10 birds, separating into male-female pairs during breeding/nesting season Additional Info: Called: Male: Cock Female: Hen Young: Chick Group: Flock Weight: 1.2-1.7 oz Gestation: 2 weeks Life Span: 6 years in wild, 12-20 years in captivity Height: 7.1-7.5 in Body Length: 7.1-7.5 in Tail Length: 0.4 in Main predators of adults are cats, dogs, raccoons, weasels, striped skunks, larger snakes, bobcats, raptors, coyotes, foxes, bears, & large corvids. Many snakes, jays, magpies, rock squirrels, deer mice, & chipmunks eat chicks. Nests tend to be bulky & loosely constructed. They raise 1-2 broods a year w/ each clutch containing 2-5 eggs. Males court females w/ vigorous singing/striking displays called “nuptial flights” lasting 8-10 seconds. Males highly territorial during breeding/nesting season, w/ fights sometimes resulting in death. These birds tend to be migratory. While mature at a year old, males don’t get adult coloration until closer to 2 years old. Chicks stay w/ parents for 1-2 months. Females sing simplified version of male’s melodious robin-like song. Fun Fact(s): These birds make an appearance on Season 1, Episode 4 of the show Criminal Minds. Sometimes hybridize w/ Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks.