18 January, 2010

Mexican Yellow Grosbeak

Scientific Name: Pheucticus Chrysopeplus

Population Estimate: 50K to 500K

Range / Habitat: The Yellow Grosbeak occurs on the Pacific slope of Mexico from central Sonora to northwestern Oaxaca, and in southern Chiapas and Guatemala. In Sonora it is migratory. It has been considered conspecific with P. tibialis of Central America and P. chrysogaster of South America. It occurs mostly in trees in forest, woodland, and edge, but generally not found in dense rain or cloud forest. Occasional vagrants have reached the United States, mostly in summer in Arizona, but it has also been reported from California, Colorado, New Mexico, and even Iowa.

Field Notes: The Yellow Grosbeak (or Mexican Yellow Grosbeak), Pheucticus chrysopeplus. The plumage has bold contrasts of yellow, white, and black or gray. Males' head and underparts are solid yellow—light lemon in most populations, "brilliant golden-orange" (Howell and Webb 1995) in P. c. aurantiacus of Chiapas and Guatemala. The back is black with yellow mottlings, the rump is yellow, and the upper tail coverts are black with white tips. The wings and tail are black with conspicuous white spots, patches, and wingbars. Females are similar but the upperparts are more olive, with dark streaks on the crown and back. Black is replaced by gray, and the white markings on the wings, especially the white base of the primaries, are smaller. Females are very similar in pattern to female Flame-colored Tanagers, but much bigger, especially as to the bill. Immatures resemble females overall.

Personal Notes:

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