John Hamil Photographs

Juvenile Black-headed Grosbeak

Arriving in May, adult Black-headed Grosbeaks settle in quickly. By mid-summer, their broods have fledged and young birds have begun to follow their parents foraging in the canopy. By the time I see their young they are anywhere from late fledglings to young juveniles with some continuing to rely on their parents to feed them. Young Black-headed Grosbeak’s highly variable plumage makes identification problematic until after their first year. The following gallery uses a bird's gape (the color and softness at the corners of their beak) to show their progression as they age.