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Blue Grosbeak Guiraca caerulea


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Blue Grosbeak, male
credit: Jerry Friedman/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Cardinalidae, Cardinals view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Stunning, with mainly blue plumage; note the two reddish brown wing bars, buffy tertial edges, and black face. ADULT FEMALE Has brown plumage overall, darker above than below and with two reddish brown wing bars and pale throat. JUVENILE Recalls adult female, and by first winter has warmer reddish brown plumage overall. By first spring, male acquires blue color on head, rump, and tail.

Dimensions Length: 6-7 1/2" (15-19 cm)

Habitat Common summer visitor (mainly May-Aug) to brushy areas and neglected, overgrown grassland; winters in Central America.

Observation Tips Easy to see.

Range Rocky Mountains, Texas, California, New England, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Eastern Canada, Plains, Southeast, Southwest, Great Lakes

Voice Song is a burst of bright, chirping whistles; call is a sharp pink.

Discussion Plump-bodied bird with a large, conical bill. Bill size allows separation of colorful male from superficially similar Indigo Bunting; female's plain, unstreaked plumage allows separation from female Rose-breasted Grosbeak, which has similarly large bill. Feeds unobtrusively in brush, but sometimes sings from exposed perch. Sexes are dissimilar.