Cardinalidae (Cardinal) Family
Photo courtesy Jarrod Wilson, Escambia County, Alabama
The wide chestnut wing bars, large heavy bill and larger overall size distinguish the male Blue Grosbeak from the male Indigo Bunting. Females of the species are brown in color. The species is a medium-sized seed-eating bird in the same family as the northern cardinal. The male blue grosbeak is almost entirely deep blue.
Its nest is unique as snakeskins are occasionally woven into the nest, sometimes covering the entire outside; other nesting materials include dry leaves, corn husks, and strips of newspaper. The female incubates her eggs for 11 days. The young are fed by both parents, mostly on insects and snails, leaving the nest in less than two weeks after hatching. For adults, fruits, seeds, and other vegetable matter make up about 1/3 of its diet.
Photo courtesy Jarrod Wilson, Escambia County, Alabama 4/15/2018