Evening Grosbeak are not quite as large as American Robins but they are big in bold colors, big in the numbers that often come to feeders and big in the sound that a flock can make. Their bright yellow (looks gold to me) and black plumage worn by males is highlighted with white patches which are also found on the more muted coloration of plumage on females (as shown in the photo below).
Though a good sized flock of these pretty large feeder birds can go through a lot of seed, every post I have seen about them shows that they are still welcome and missed when they wander away for weeks, months and sometimes years. These large members of the finch family nest in conifer forests in the western U.S. and north into Canada.
Though Evening Grosbeak, like their smaller finch cousins the House Finch, love black oil sunflower seeds I found they learned to eat the safflower seeds I put out because the squirrels in my yard also loved the former but have not developed a taste for the latter (be aware I have heard others complain that their squirrels like safflower seeds).
Evening Grosbeak are too big to balance well on feeders so they prefer a tray or platform type feeder as shown on the right. I was fortunate for two years as there are conifer forests less than 10 miles from my home so they would leave to nest for two months then return with their young that they brought to my feeders.
Below is a photo of one of the fledgling Evening Grosbeak at my feeder. What was really funny was to see these full sized young birds perched in the tray feeder with an adult and the adult would pick up seeds and feed them.
Male birds of a number of species are very involved in helping to raise the young. In the photo on the left a male Evening Grosbeak is shown putting a seed into the open beak of a fledgling. Aren’t birds fun!
I enjoy finding and photographing Evening Grosbeak both in my backyard and in the field.
Have you ever seen Evening Grosbeak?
Have you ever had Evening Grosbeak at your feeders? If so, where do you live?