On May 3, 2006, a pair of Black-headed Grosbeaks (Pheucticus melanocephalus) flew into our yard. They stayed just a few seconds - long enough for me to notice and to realize that this was a bird I hadn't seen before. They returned the next three mornings to eat from the quail block. I believe these are both males. The curious bird on the top of the block is a female House Finch. On the fifth day, these Grosbeaks returned with a third one, also a male, for a very brief period. I haven't seen them since. I hope they come back to visit next year.
Black-headed Grosbeaks are migratory birds with nesting grounds ranging from southwestern British Columbia through the western half of the United States and into central Mexico. They spend their winters in the mountains of Mexico.
They eat a varied diet. They can easily crack open heavy seeds with their huge beaks. Farmers value them highly because they consume harmful insects. The Black-headed Grosbeak is one of the few birds that can eat monarch butterflies, despite the noxious chemicals that the monarchs accumulate from their milkweed diet. Black-headed Grosbeaks eat many monarchs on their wintering grounds. (Birdweb)