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Old Apr 11, 2010, 6:51 PM   #1
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Default Black-headed Grosbeak

Black-headed Grosbeaks of Western North America are related to the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks of the East. I don't remember seeing one of these posted here before, so even though these aren't the best, I thought people would be interested in seeing one. They are not uncommon in suitable habitats where I have seen them on numerous occasions (high in the trees where they could not be photographed easily), but are decidedly uncommon in urban backyards, this one being only the second or third I have had here in 45 years. He was quite skittish, constantly turning his head to look around, and taking flight at the slightest hint of a disturbance, only twice remaining long enough to let me grab the camera and open the slider to grab a few quick hand held shots. The white spots near his head in #3 and #4 are seed hulls falling from his bill. Sony A550 with Minolta AF reflex 500mm.

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Last edited by penolta; Apr 11, 2010 at 6:56 PM.
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Old Apr 11, 2010, 8:57 PM   #2
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Beautiful bird and well-captured. They look to be a little smaller than a Rose-breasted. At least when seen on the feeder.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 6:16 AM   #3
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Great photos of a lovely bird. Have never seen one - thanks for sharing!
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 9:30 PM   #4
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Thanks guys for looking and commenting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjtoth View Post
They look to be a little smaller than a Rose-breasted. At least when seen on the feeder.
Actually, they are about the same size - the Black-headeds if anything are a little bigger (averaging 8 1/4 inches vs 8 inches). There has even been some evidence of interbreeding, which had led some to think that they may actually be different forms of the same species.
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Old Apr 13, 2010, 3:06 PM   #5
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Very nice, looks like the rose breasted but with a robins breast, neat bird.
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Old Apr 13, 2010, 4:22 PM   #6
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Way to go on a different capture. Sen on down my way so I can shoot at it.
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Old Apr 14, 2010, 7:38 PM   #7
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Nice capture Pen. I don't think I've seen one in person either.
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Old Apr 15, 2010, 12:39 PM   #8
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Thanks eharris, Roger and GW for the nice comments.

GW, you need to come back to mosquito-free California.
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Last edited by penolta; Apr 15, 2010 at 12:41 PM.
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