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February Records for the Black-Bended Grosbeak

Hilda W. Grinnell
Publication Information
2 (March-April)
From Field and Study

February Records for the Black-headed Grosbeak

Here in the San Francisco Bay region the Black-headed Grosbeak (Hedymetes melanocephalus) is a common summer resident, arriving about the middle of April and leaving in late September. The earliest date of arrival which I have found reported is April 4, as given by Mrs. A. S. Allen (Condor, 35, 1933:X6). The latest date of departure which she gives is October 7.

On the morning of February 19,1942, while driving on College Avenue near the Oakland-Berkeley line, I saw a Black-headed Grosbeak lying in the street between the car tracks. Before my son could retrieve it, the bird was somewhat damaged by a passing truck, but even so made a good study skin, and is now no. 84639 in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. The bird could not be sexed because of injuries, but is in male plumage, which is in excellent condition, making it improbable that it was an escaped cage bird. An abraded area on the head makes it seem possible that the bird had been stunned by striking an overhead wire before falling to the street.

Mention of this specimen elicited from Dr. Richard M. Eakin the information that at about sunset . on February 16, or 17, while crossing the campus of the University of California between the President’s House and Haviland Hall, he had heard the song of a Black-headed Grosbeak, but did not see the bird. Miss Susan Chattin adds that on February 24 she had an excellent view of a Black-headed Grosbeak on the lower campus, near the Center Street entrance.

Hilda W. Grinnell

Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Berkeley, California, March 9, 1942

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