Photography of Birds – Set # 272
Set # 272
Some taxonomists placed the Blue Grosbeak in its own monotypic genus Guiraca but in 2001 a molecular phylogenetic study of mitochondrial DNA sequences found that the blue grosbeak, in spite of being physically larger, nested within the Passerina and was most closely related to the lazuli bunting. The species is therefore now placed with the North American buntings in Passerina, a genus that was introduced by the French ornithologist Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot in 1816.
Both parents cooperate in raising the young, which they feed a diet consisting almost entirely of insects. Some young stay around the nest to help raise another brood. Fledglings are grayish in color, with speckled breasts. The blue color becomes much more prominent and the speckles on their breasts disappear as they mature. Bluebirds may begin breeding the summer after they are hatched.
© HJ Ruiz – Avian101