We are so fortunate to live in New Mexico – a top destination in the country for birders, because of the number of bird species recorded, according to The Audubon Society.

One species is the Black-headed Grosbeak. They make their appearance in New Mexico during their breeding season from late spring and summer. These birds are about the size of  a small robin, and they’re very timid. They will hide in the belly of a bush in the yard, and very quietly, very slowly, make their way out to a feeder. They enjoy eating berries, seeds, and insects, but they’ll also feed on spiders and snails. They seem to really enjoy black oil sunflower seeds from the feeders in our yard.

Male Black-headed Grosbeaks woo their intended mate by swooping back and forth over her head, while singing loudly to his love interest the entire time! These beautiful birds love to nest in Cottonwood trees, which we all know are abundant in our area. Their nests are constructed by the female, who makes their nest from a loose construction of twigs, weeds, plant fibers, and animal hair. Their eggs hatch after both the male and female incubate them for about two weeks, with the female incubating alone at night. Their young will begin a slow process to independence after another week or two, when they venture out onto nearby branches. They do this for another week or two before they fly out on their own.

The Black-headed Grosbeaks have mostly moved on from my yard, but I’m looking forward to seeing them again next year!


Please share your bird photos with the Observer. Send them to [email protected]