Black-headed Grosbeak foraging in Montana

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Black-headed Grosbeak foragingBlack-headed Grosbeak foraging – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I was thrilled to spot this male Black-headed Grosbeak foraging in this flowering shrub while I was in Montana last week. I haven’t had many opportunities to photograph this species so when it popped into view I was elated. Normally I would prefer a less busy foreground and background but this is the perch the bird picked and I think the flowers add interest. Besides, I enjoy photographing birds doing what they do where they decided to do it.

More birds from my Montana trip last week to come…



  1. Prairie Birder June 12, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Beautiful photo, Mia! I’ve never seen a Black-headed Grosbeak before!

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 10:24 am

      Thank you Charlotte. here is hoping you see one of these birds soon!

  2. Julie Brown June 11, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    One of my favorite western birds. The flowers are nice and so are the tones. I like to see birds in habitat.

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 10:21 am

      Thank you Julie. The flowers in the frame give me a keen sense of where I can usually find these birds.

  3. Kathleen June 11, 2013 at 6:41 pm


  4. Bob Bushell June 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    The Grosbeak is stunningly, thanks Mia.

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 10:20 am

      Thank you Bob, they are beautiful birds.

  5. Frank (The Early Birder) June 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Stunning images on your blog. I will definitely be back from time to time.

    • Mia McPherson June 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      Thanks for visiting my blog Frank and for your comment. Please feel free to come back any time!

  6. eric c11 June 11, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    beautifull specie, i never seen it before, very nice colors and a good picture too (as usual)
    thanks mia ☺

    • Mia McPherson June 11, 2013 at 1:48 pm

      Thanks Eric, they are a beautiful bird.

  7. Ingrid June 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Gorgeous, Mia. For images like this, are you shooting hand held? So crisp and lovely. I’ve only seen one of this species in my lifetime, although I keep looking for them. It was a fledgling sitting in a tree just outside my kitchen window, the first year we moved into our California flat. I never saw them after, in either fledgling or adult form.

    • Mia McPherson June 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      Ingrid, I shoot most of the time by laying my lens on my “Noodle” for stability, I’d be lost without my Noodle. I hope you get to see more Black-headed Grosbeaks soon, the male is stunning but I find the female to be very appealing too. The range map shows them in Washington State so it is very possible you could see them there!

  8. M. Firpi June 11, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I love the colour, and the flowers and leaves always add that extra special touch about the environment.

  9. Stu June 11, 2013 at 7:22 am

    great Photo.. love the colors and the bill tones. I wonder how life might be different if we humans were as colorful 😉

    • Mia McPherson June 11, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Thank you Stu, I love the colors here too. That bill is rather large!

  10. judy watson June 11, 2013 at 5:43 am


  11. Dick Harlow June 11, 2013 at 4:33 am

    Very nice shot Mia, thanks for sharing.

    • Mia McPherson June 11, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Thank you for commenting Dick!

Comments are closed.