Posts Tagged ‘Nature photography’


Evening Grosbeak: Connecticut Audubon Society Bird Finder for February 7, 2015

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

Evening Grosbeak (Male), Lac Le Jeune Resort, Near Logan Lake, British ColumbiaEvening Grosbeak
Coccothraustes vespertinus
Evening Grosbeaks are relative newcomers to our state. They are often found during winter in the northeast and northwest corners, though in some years they are more abundant and found all across the state. Formerly a more western species, with the regrowth of New England’s forests and the human introduction of certain preferred food plants (e.g., box elder), the Evening Grosbeak began to appear in Connecticut in ever greater numbers at the turn of the 20th century. The first birds were seen in 1890, though they were still considered “a rare accidental winter visitor” for the next several decades. They became more regular visitors after the 1940s, and first bred in Vermont in 1926. Subsequently they bred in New York in 1946 and finally in Connecticut in 1983.

What it looks like: The Evening Grosbeak is a medium-sized song bird, of striking yellow and black plumage, with large white wing patches. Its massive head and bill, habit of gathering in large noisy flocks, and preference for feeders make this an easily distinguished feathered friend.

Where and How to Find it: Evening Grosbeaks love sunflower seeds, and may most likely be found at stocked feeders in the northern corners of Connecticut. While they may be found year-round, winter is their time. They are noisy and gregarious birds, but even so if your, or a friend’s, feeders are not visited by them, they will be hard to find. Grosbeaks are wanderers, but with luck you might find a large and loud flock of birds in a treetop, in which case pause and look for their startling yellow plumage.

When to Look: Predominantly an irruptive winter visitor. Look for Evening Grosbeaks near well-stocked feeders in coniferous habitats in the northern corners of our state. This year only a few have been seen, and these in flocks along our coastline during the fall migration.

Keep an Eye out for its other irruptive winter cousins, such as the Pine Grosbeak, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Pine Siskin and Common Redpoll. Keep your feeders stocked and your eyes open.
Conservation Status: Evening Grosbeaks appear to be fine within their normal range, that of the southern boreal forest extending from British Columbia east to Nova Scotia and south into the forests of the Rockies, Adirondacks, and northern New England. The IUCN lconsiders them to be of Least Consern.

This week’s Connecticut Audubon Society Bird Finder was written by Alexander Brash, president of Connecticut Audubon Society, and edited by Tom Andersen.

Photo by Alan D. Wilson,

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