Like clockwork, male Black-headed Grosbeaks arrive every spring on nearly the exact day - April 26 every year. The juveniles from last year and the females wait a week or so before they arrive. The arrival of these tropical-looking birds is a sign that spring is here.
Because their bills are so large, strong, and powerful, they have a broad range of food choices. They can eat soft berries to very hard seeds. They are particularly fond of peanut butter cakes, suet cakes, black-oil sunflower seeds, and sunflower chips.
Female Black-headed Grosbeaks have a bicolored bill. The upper mandible is dark while the lower mandible is light colored. Look at the bill to differentiate a female Black-headed Grosbeak from a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The female Rose-breasted Grosbeak's bill is not bi-colored; both upper and lower mandibles are light colored.
Female Black-headed Grosbeaks fight fiercely for territory just like males of other species. The females are also extremely aggressive at feeders. They often nest in elderberry bushes or blackberry bushes.