Black-headed Grosbeaks

Male Black-headed Grosbeak perched on an old wooden building

Male Black-headed Grosbeak perched on an old wooden building –  D200, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 250, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, near a feeder

Near the headquarters of Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge there are several old wooden buildings, one of buildings had a bird feeder hanging in front and there were several different species of birds that were present.  This male Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus) sure caught my eye with its beautiful orange, black and white plumage. This is a well known and widespread bird of western North America that breeds in dense deciduous forests, along waterways, old fields and thickets.

Male Black-headed Grosbeak perched on a rusty wagon wheel

Male Black-headed Grosbeak perched on an old rusty wagon wheel – D200, f7.1, 1/640, ISO 250, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, near a feeder

This was my first opportunity to photograph this species and I found the rustic wooden building and the rusty wagon wheel to be appealing perches though I would have preferred a more natural setting. I did not have very much time to take pictures of this bird, there was a pickup coming down the road that caused the bird to fly away but I know that when I get back to Red Rock Lakes NWR in the summertime I will be keeping my eyes open to look for the Black-headed Grosbeaks again.

Mia

One Comment

  1. Harry Harris December 20, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    My wife and I look forward to seeing your posts on NPN, but now we have learned to visit your website and see what you have been up to. I really like this bird and your shots are wonderful as always and I do like the rustic enviornment. This bird is a little like the Spotted Tohee. I have been trying to capture one of them in my back yard on a natural perch. No luck so far. I guess this was morning or late afternoon light. You have captured the blacks so well without burning out the whites. Great as usual.

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