Kind of Blue: Blue Grosbeak arriving in California

April 27th, 2012 · by Garrison Frost

So, we’ve talked about the bluebirds and the dazzling Indigo Bunting, so now it’s time to talk about another bluish bird, the Blue Grosbeak. The Blue Grosbeak is a wonderful species that winters way down in the Mexico and Central America, and visits the southern United States every spring to breed. Here in California, it prefers areas of low, dense vegetation that are near water and open grass. Even at its height, it’s not the kind of bird you see everywhere — in fact, it can be darn hard to find. It is thought that competition with other grosbeaks in the breeding season keep its number low. Nonetheless, keep an eye out for it. Below are two eBird maps that show its entrance into California in recent weeks:

Here’s what we were seeing through March. Only a few birds in Arizona:

And here’s so far in April — starting to show up, even in Northern California:

Categories: Birding · Pacific Flyway · Pacific Migration · spring migration

One Comment so far ↓

  • Matthew Dodder

    We’re getting our first reports of Blue Grosbeak in south San Francisco Bay this week. I haven’ t seen one yet this season, but I hope to this weekend. Things are incredible here now, with Red-necked Phalaropes and other Shorebirds passing through in full alternate plumage, and a host of colorful Passerines arriving to breed!