The Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea, formerly Guiraca caerulea), is a medium-sized seed-eating bird in the same family as the Northern Cardinal, “tropical” or New World buntings, and “cardinal-grosbeaks” or New World grosbeaks.
The male Blue Grosbeak is almost entirely deep blue. The female is mostly brown. Both sexes are distinguished by their large, deep bill and double wing bars. These features, as well as the grosbeak’s relatively larger size, distinguish this species from the Indigo Bunting. [Wikipedia]
A large, vibrantly blue bunting with an enormous silver bill and chestnut wing bars, the male Blue Grosbeak sings a rich, warbling song from trees and roadside wires. He and his cinnamon-colored mate often raise two broods of nestlings in a single breeding season. A bird of shrubby habitats, these richly colored birds can be hard to spot unless you hear them singing first. They are widespread but not abundant across the southern U.S. and are expanding their range. [All About Birds]
Blue Grosbeak Facts [All About Birds]
- Many Blue Grosbeaks migrate directly southward from their breeding areas to their wintering grounds. Western birds head over land, and eastern birds cross the Gulf of Mexico. Migrating grosbeaks pass through the Caribbean Islands including Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Antilles, the Swan Islands, the Cayman Islands, and the Virgin Islands.
- Blue Grosbeaks breed along roads and open areas, building their nests low in small trees, shrubs, tangles of vines, or briars. At least one pair of grosbeaks has nested in a bluebird nest box.
- According to genetic evidence, the Lazuli Bunting is the Blue Grosbeak’s closest relative.
- The oldest Blue Grosbeak on record was a male, and at least 7 years, 2 months old when he was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Virginia.