Fun Yellow Grosbeak Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Oct 20, 2022 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
One of the interesting yellow grosbeak facts is that it has black wings with white tips.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.5 Min

The yellow grosbeak is a bird species of the order Passeriformes, family Cardinalidae, that is found in the continent of North America, mainly in the regions of Mexico and Guatemala. It is also sometimes found in Sonora and as a vagrant in the United States of America.

It is a New World bunting that is named for its beautiful bright yellow color.

The 'grosbeak' name is actually derived from a French word that translates to 'big beak', and the yellow grosbeak has a bill that is big for its body. The yellow grosbeak is a non-migratory bird species and it inhabits semi-open woodlands and scrublands.

The yellow grosbeak populations of the world are estimated to be 50,000-499,999 and it is considered to be a species of 'Least Concern' by the IUCN.

The population however shows a declining trend. The yellow grosbeak is also known for its rich-toned and variable song and soft flight calls.

For more relatable content, check out these painted bunting facts and cliff swallow facts for kids.

Yellow Grosbeak Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a yellow grosbeak?

The yellow grosbeak (Pheucticus chrysopeplus) is a bird.

What class of animal does a yellow grosbeak belong to?

The yellow grosbeak (Pheucticus chrysopeplus) bird belongs to the 'Aves' class of animals.

How many yellow grosbeaks are there in the world?

There are 50,000-499,999 mature individuals of the yellow grosbeak (Pheucticus chrysopeplus) bird species in the world.

Where does a yellow grosbeak live?

The yellow grosbeak (Pheucticus chrysopeplus) bird is found in the western parts of Mexico and in Guatemala. In Mexico, yellow grosbeak bird populations are seen on the slope of the Pacific, from northwestern parts of Oaxaca to the central parts of Sonora.

Vagrants seen in the United States of America are escaped birds that were previously held in captivity. In the United States of America, yellow grosbeak birds are found in southern parts of Arizona as well as in Colorado, California, Iowa, and New Mexico.

What is a yellow grosbeak's habitat?

Yellow grosbeak birds exist in habitats like semi-open habitats, thickets, brush, semi-open woodlands, and scrublands. They are also found at the edge of forests, but almost never in a rain forest. They mostly live on twigs of trees and shrubs.

Whom do yellow grosbeak birds live with?

The yellow grosbeak is a largely non-migratory species of bird, which means it is a solitary bird. The bird will obviously be seen with mates during mating season.

The population of yellow grosbeak birds in Sonora is considered to be migratory, so it may seldom be seen with other grosbeak birds in flocks too. A flock or group of yellow grosbeak birds would be called a 'gross of grosbeaks'.

How long does a yellow grosbeak live?

It is unclear exactly how long yellow grosbeaks live, but seeing the average lifespan for other grosbeak birds, yellow grosbeak birds can be assumed to live anywhere between 6-16 years in the wild and up to 24 years in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

Yellow grosbeak birds reproduce via mating and laying eggs. The number of eggs laid is 2-5 and they are green or light-blue colored with flecks of gray and brown.

The eggs are laid in a nest made out of grass and sticks with a lining made out of finer substances. The nests are built in bushes or mid-level twigs and trees. Female birds incubate the eggs for 11-12 days after which the chicks hatch.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the yellow grosbeak species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature is 'Least Concern'.

Yellow Grosbeak Fun Facts

What do yellow grosbeaks look like?

The yellow grosbeak bird has an overall primary yellow color. Its underparts are yellow or light-lemon, and the upperparts are mostly black with white tips and bars. The back is also black with steaked patterns and yellow mottlings.

The eyes of the yellow grosbeak are brown or black-brown. The crown, head rump, forehead, nape, and throat are all yellow. The cone-shaped bill is gray-black and noticeably bigger in proportion to its body.

The wings have a pointed shape and the tail is fan-shaped. The upper tail and under tail both have black and white colors. The legs are gray-colored.

The coverts of the black upper tail have white tips as well. The wings and the tail both have white spots and white patches too. White wing-bars are also present.

The female yellow grosbeak looks slightly different than the male grosbeak. The female has olive upper parts and her back and crown have dark streaks.

Gray replaces black and the white markings are smaller. The juvenile yellow grosbeak resembles the female. Flame-covered tanager females look very similar to the yellow grosbeak female birds, but yellow grosbeak female birds are noticeably bigger, especially with respect to the bill.

Yellow grosbeaks have large, gray-black bills.

How cute are they?

Yellow grosbeaks are beautifully colored birds. They are 'remarkable orange golden' animals. Their bodies are a beautiful contrast of black, white, and bright yellow and they truly are one of nature's most gorgeous creatures. These birds have disproportionately big beaks which only adds to their striking appearance. The song of the yellow grosbeaks is also very rich.

How do they communicate?

Yellow grosbeaks communicate via calls and songs. Their calls are metallic and sound like 'piik', 'plihk', or 'iehk', much like the calls of the Pheucticus grosbeaks.

Their flight calls are soft and sound like 'whoi', 'hoee', or 'hu-oi'. The songs of yellow grosbeak species are very rich in tone and variable like those of the black-headed grosbeak, but much shorter in duration.

How big is a yellow grosbeak?

Yellow grosbeaks are 8.5–9.4 in (21.5-24 cm) long and they have wingspans of 11.8-13 in (30-33 cm), which makes them about four times bigger than the bee hummingbird. They are similar to species like summer tanager and western tanager, but noticeably bigger.

How fast can a yellow grosbeak fly?

Yellow grosbeaks may be able to fly at speeds of 20-36 mph (32.2-58 kph).

How much does a yellow grosbeak weigh?

The yellow grosbeak weighs 2.2 oz (62 g) on average.

What are the male and female names of the species?

They are not commonly referred to by any specific names. But since they are birds, yellow grosbeak males may be called 'cocks' and the females may be called 'hens'.

What would you call a baby yellow grosbeak?

A baby yellow grosbeak may be called a 'chick'.

What do they eat?

Yellow grosbeaks are omnivores who eat seeds, insects, fruits, and berries. If they're in the vicinity, one can leave out feeders with safflower, sunflower seeds, suet, apple slices, millet, and peanut kernels, since they readily feed on these as well.

Are they dangerous?

No, yellow grosbeaks are not dangerous. They may display some aggression during the breeding season, but they are not dangerous apart from that.

Would they make a good pet?

Yellow grosbeaks are not very famously taken as pets, as much as their related species, rose-breasted grosbeaks, and evening grosbeaks.

Did you know...

Most grosbeak species readily eat things like safflowers, sunflower seeds, tree nuts, peanuts, suet, cherries, apple slices, millet. If you want to attract grosbeaks to your feeders, you should put these out in your feeders.

Most grosbeak species mate for life and are monogamous. The blue grosbeak, the rose-breasted grosbeak, and the black-headed grosbeak are all monogamous birds.  The yellow grosbeak species too is thought to be largely monogamous. The evening grosbeak is also mostly monogamous. Although, if the food sources are abundant, the evening grosbeak may display polygamy and take multiple partners.

Evening grosbeaks are partial to seeds of box elders. Box elders are maple sap trees endemic to North America. Box-elder trees are sometimes invasive. Evening grosbeaks also eat larvae of the spruce budworm.

Yellow grosbeaks belong to the order Passeriformes, family Cardinalidae, genus Pheucticus.

Do grosbeak fly south for the winter?

Black-headed grosbeak birds are known for their migration. The birds of this species that breed in the USA and Canada migrate south to Mexico in the winter. Migration happens in flocks during early fall and the return to the northern breeding grounds takes place in late spring.

Rose-breasted grosbeaks are also known for winter migration. The summer breeding habitats of this species include the northern North American regions in the maritime provinces of Canada, the Appalachian Mountains, and places in the USA like Nebraska, the Dakotas, and South Carolina.

They migrate south, to coastal parts of Mexico, the Antilles, and other parts of northern South America and Central America.

The breeding habitats of the evening grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus) species consist of southern Canada and stretches from New Hampshire to northern California to New England, and the Great Lakes and the Rocky Mountains. The evening grosbeak migration habitats include various southern parts of the USA, with the exception of Florida.

The '60s also saw a range expansion of the evening grosbeaks in the eastern USA.

Blue grosbeaks are also migratory, flying to Central American and northern South American regions in the winter from the southern USA and northern Mexico.

Yellow grosbeaks are largely non-migratory. They live in their Mexican and Guatemalan breeding grounds and only the ones in Sonora are migratory.

How did grosbeak get its name?

The name grosbeak was first used during the 1670s. It comes from the French word 'grosbec', which itself can be broken down into 'gros' and 'bec'. 'Gros' translates to 'large' and 'bec' simply means 'beak'. Hence, grosbeak birds have been named for their large beaks.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these scrub jay fun facts and house wren fun facts for kids pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Antillean crested hummingbird coloring pages.

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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