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Merlin Bird ID

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    Blue Grosbeak

    Silhouette GrosbeaksGrosbeaks

    Blue Grosbeak

    Passerina caerulea
    • ORDER: Passeriformes
    • FAMILY: Cardinalidae
    Basic Description

    A large, vibrantly blue bunting with an enormous silver bill and chestnut wingbars, the male Blue Grosbeak sings a rich, warbling song from trees and roadside wires. He and his cinnamon-colored mate often raise two broods of nestlings in a single breeding season. A bird of shrubby habitats, these richly colored birds can be hard to spot unless you hear them singing first. They are widespread but not abundant across the southern U.S., and are expanding their range.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Blue GrosbeakRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    Find This Bird

    Though never common during summer and despite its generally retiring habits, the openness of Blue Grosbeak habitat and the males’ propensity for singing from high, exposed perches should enable you to locate it in most of its range. Learning and listening for their burry, warbling songs makes locating Blue Grosbeaks much easier. Be sure to continue to check likely looking shrubby or old-field habitat, even if they seem to be absent in early summer—many individuals arrive quite late, even deep into July, when Blue Grosbeak can be one of the few singing birds in such habitats.

    Other Names
    • Picogordo Azul (Spanish)
    • Guiraca bleu (French)

    Backyard Tips

    Blue Grosbeaks may be attracted to grains and seeds at feeders in shrubby backyards.

    • Cool Facts