Sunday, May 15, 2011

Black-headed Grosbeak

I've taken many pictures of Black-headed Grosbeaks, but I have never posted one because I have always been dissatisfied with them. I usually find them singing high in the upper branches of a tree. In addition, there is usually a bright sky in the background and ultimately the sun is at the wrong angle. What this all adds up to is a poorly exposed, grainy and/or blurry picture.
The image above isn't a lot better, but has to be one of the best I have been able to get. I took it yesterday at Fernhill Wetlands along the new Dabblers Marsh trail. I used the monopod my son got me for Christmas, which helped with the sharpness of this distant photo.
The Black-headed Grosbeak has to be one our more tropical looking summer birds. You can hear their song from far away. It sounds somewhat like a Robin, but it just goes on and on. Some people refer to the song as a Drunken Robin. :-)


  1. Looks like a pretty good shot to me! I am hoping to find one myself today... Heading up to Ridgefield for the first time in a couple weeks.

  2. My backyard feeders and birdbaths are swarmed with Black-Headed Grosbeaks this time of year. It's one of my favorite signs of spring arriving in Portland!