Juvenile? Black-headed Grosbeak

Description: I’m pretty sure this is a juvenile, since it doesn’t fit either of the adult descriptions and it has that bit of fleshy area at the gape.

Specific Feedback Requested:

I had to remove a bit of the support for the perch, did I leave any signs?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Is this a composite? No

Sony A1, FE200-600 + 1.4 TC @ 658 mm, tripod with gimbal head, f/9, 1400, iso 1250, fill flash at -2 EV,manual exposure. Processed in LR & PS CC. Cropped to 3824x5024 from a horizontal original. Taken August 2nd at 1:21 PM under hazy skies.

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Gorgeous as usual. The perch is a delight and the head turn. Maybe a tiny bit more exposure?

Wonderful shot with detail, head turn, and BG. Yeah, it could be a tad brighter.

Very nice!! I love the perch and don’t see any signs of tampering.

We get quite a few of them here and the juvies I’ve shot start out looking a lot like females. but I’ve never noticed at what point they start developing adult plumage. This does look like a healing gape, but the pink lower mandible is something I don’t remember seeing. My setup and blind has been neglected for a month now (still under house arrest after foot surgery) so I won’t have anything recent, but I’ll see what I might have for comparison.

Excellent shot, great pose and positioning in the frame. The background is perfect. I guess a bit of brightening would benefit too.

I’ve looked back through my posts (the ones that have been keyworded… :frowning_face:) and I find a lot of apparent juvies, from the remaining gape,that look basically like females. But a few are showing what looks like male plumage growing in, still with signs of a gape. They were both from late July several years ago. But the white stripe above the eye is not in these.

Interesting @Diane_Miller. I know an ornithologist that I can check with.

Still in a deleting binge and I came across another Grosbeak image, which sent me to the Cornell ID page – apparently the white stripe above the eye is only on the females. I’d never noticed that. And a lot of the ones I’ve shot seem to have more of a remnant of a gape, but maybe they are all juvies .

I have bad luck finding good descriptions for juvies, but from what I’ve found it just says the juvies look like females.