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Black-headed grosbeak        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Black-headed grosbeaks are large, colorful finches that breed in much of western North America.   Like its equally colorful relatives, the blue grosbeak and the rose-breasted grosbeak, it has a cheerful loud song, which reminds me a bit of the song of the American robin.   Females of all these species are less colorful than the males, but are striking birds nonetheless.   Several of these grosbeaks were visiting feeders in Swall meadows and Crowley Lake in Mono County; others were at Big Morongo Reserve in the eastern desert, in the nearby San Jacinto Mountains, and at the mouth of the Big Sur River (all in California).

  • Canon 1D4 or 7D2; 800 mm IS lens with 1.4X converter; fill-in flash (2011, 2012, 2014, 2016)