Episode Information

Grosbeaks and Monarchs
Share this Content

In this episode:

Black-headed Grosbeaks appear to actually enjoy the Monarch butterflies that other birds avoid.


Episode Audio

2:00 minutes (1.61 MB)
Download this Episode

Black-headed Grosbeaks are one of very few birds that regularly eat Monarch butterflies. Most birds and other animals find the butterflies unpalatable, if not downright toxic. The caterpillars of Monarchs consume milkweeds that contain toxic substances known as cardenolides. The poison is stored in the adult butterfly's abdomen, giving it a powerful form of defense.

Related Content: