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Evening Grosbeak

Evening Grosbeaks can be attracted to your yard with food, water and landscaping.

When I think of my favorite birds grosbeaks is near the top. Where I grew up in Montana we would get huge flocks of these colorful birds. We had quite a few fruit, berry, and maple trees, and the birds could not resist them.  They seem to especially like the Mountain Ash berries. 

Identification - Pictures and Video

Evening Grosbeak

Evening grosbeaks (Coccothraustes Vespertinus) are stocky short tailed birds about 8 inches, and look much like an over grown goldfinch. They are members of the finch family, which is the largest bird family in North America.  Others in this family are buntings, cardinals, crossbills, finches, juncos, redpolls, siskin, sparrows, and towhees.

Males are dull yellow with a dark head, and yellow stripe above the eye.  The wings, and tail are black, and there is a large white wing patch.

The female is mostly silver-gray with touches of yellow. The wings, and tail are black with white patches, not as pronounced as the mail.

Their large conical bill tells us they feed mainly on seeds.
The bill is a whitish or greenish color in the summer, and turns to pale yellow in the winter.

Video below is Evening grosbeaks feeding on sunflower seeds at a bird feeder.
For other bird videos please visit our Youtube channel and subscribe or like our videos.

Most videos on my site were taken with the Canon HG10 camcorder.

Song and CallsEvening Grosbeak

Grosbeaks have a ringing chirp or cleer, and a loud cleep call.  They also have a short warble song.

Evening Grosbeak: Click for Sound    Pine Grosbeak: Click for Sound

Range and Habitat

Grosbeaks can be found year round in northwestern U.S., and southern Canada.  They range from the Rocky Mountain region south to northern Mexico.  They winter in Mexico, and most of the U.S.

Photos by Keith Lee.  The camera I use is the Canon EOS 40D.

There are a number of different grosbeaks having varied ranges. Others are; Blue, Rose-breasted, Black-headed, and Pine grosbeaks.

Grosbeaks like mixed forests. They prefer conifer, and spruce forests.  They also like fruit and berry trees or shrubs and maples.  In winter they can be found in open areas with trees and shrubs, and at your feeders.

Breeding and Nesting

Breeding in open woodlands begins in mid May in the South, and mid June in the North.  The male will court a female by dancing in front of her with drooped, vibrating wings.

The nest, built mostly by female is constructed loosely from sticks, moss, lichen, and rootlets.  The inside can have hair, and plant fibers.

The female will incubate 2 to 5 smooth glossy eggs.  They are light blue or greenish blue.  Eggs are spotted with blotches of purplish to olive brown or purplish-gray, mostly at the large end.  The young are fed by both parents, and can leave the nest in around 2 weeks.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Rose-breasted Gosbeak by Steve Maslowski US Wildlife

Food and Feeding

Natural foods are seeds, buds, insects, berries, and fruit. Favorite foods are pine, and box elder seeds.  Grosbeaks forage in trees, shrubs and on the ground.  They forage together in large flocks.  

You can attract grosbeaks to feeders with sunflower seeds. Large flocks can descend on your feeders, and eat all the sunflower seeds you have.  Some years you may see these flocks at feeders, while in other years they stay in the north and are not seen their winter range.  Large southern movements called irruptions are thought to be caused by periodic food shortages.

For more on food and feeding click here.
For more on feeders click here.

Grosbeak posters Grosbeak posters

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