Plumage/Description: Males and females have a large conical shaped beak for seed cracking. Males have a solid black head. Back and wings are black with substantial white markings. The throat, breast, rump and nape are a rich Rufous color, and the belly is a lemon yellow color. Females frequently confuse new birders as their plumage is substantially different from the male. Females have bold stripes on the head, and the back and wings are brown with white and black streaking. Throat and breast are a pale buff color with a hint of yellow on the belly.
Habitat: Residential areas, oak/chaparral, pinyon/juniper, ponderosa pine and riparian habitats.
Time of year: Spring and summer
Relative Abundance: Common.
Behavior: Primarily a seed eater, frequently seen at backyard seed feeders where they prefer Black-oil sunflower seeds.
Diet: Seeds, plant parts such as buds, petals, berries, fruit produced by local, native plants, insects.
Similar species: People often confuse Black-headed Grosbeaks with Spotted Towhees and oriole species. When in doubt look at the beak, this feature is diagnostic.
Best Sites: In addition to residential settings check out Watson Woods, Acker Park, and Stricklin Park.