photo by Phil Swanson
L 6 3/4″ (17 cm).
Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)
Loud, explosive chink. Song is simple warble that rises and falls in pitch.
Description: Broad chestnut wing bars (paler in female). Large heavy bill; larger in size than similar Indigo Bunting. Male is deep blue overall with black around bill. Female is light brown overall with blue shoulder patch, grayish-blue rump, and dark tail. Juvenile resembles female. First spring males are mottled with blue and brown.
Behavior: Has habit of twitching and spreading its tail.
Habitat: Open streamside woodlands, weedy pastures, old fields with scattered saplings, and hedgerows.
Where in Nebraska: Uncommon and highly local in eastern Nebraska, and rare in the Pine Ridge.
Nebraska Seasons: Uncommon spring and fall migrant and local summer resident almost across the state. Uncommon breeder statewide.
Fun Facts: The Blue Grosbeak sometimes uses snakeskin as nesting material, which is thought to scare away predators.