Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Jim Parrish
Photo Copyright Jim Parrish

The blue grosbeak, Passerina caerulea, breeds from Panama north through Mexico, across the southern United States, and through the central United States north to North Dakota. Breeding populations in the United States and northern Mexico are long-distance migrants, wintering in areas south to Panama, and occasionally to South America. In Utah, the blue grosbeak breeds in the southern (especially the southeastern) portion of the state.

The blue grosbeak is typically found in habitats with scattered trees, riparian woodlands, scrub, or woodland edges. Breeding pairs often produce two broods per year. Females alone build the second nest of the season, but it is not known if males participate in building the first nest. Nests of twigs, bark, pieces of cloth, cellophane, and snake skins are constructed in low trees or bushes, usually just above ground, but often to fifteen feet above the ground. Usually four eggs are incubated for eleven or twelve days by the female, who is fed by the male. Young are fed mostly by the female for nine to thirteen days until they fledge. If the female then re-nests, the fledglings will be fed by the male. This bird eats mostly insects, but also eats other invertebrates, seeds, and fruits.


  • Ingold, J. L. 1993. Blue grosbeak (Guiraca caerulea). Birds of North America 79: 16 pp.

  • Baicich, P. J., and C. J. O. Harrison. 1997. A guide to the nests, eggs, and nestlings of North American Birds, Second Ed. Academic Press, San Diego. 347 pp.