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Evening Grosbeak - Coccothraustes vespertinus

Northern eveninggrosbeak


 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Passeriformes 
 Family: Fringillidae
 Genus: Coccothraustes
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern



eveninggrosbeakThe evening grosbeak is 7-8 inches in length with a wingspan of 12-14 inches. It has a strong, yellowish-green, cone-shaped bill; a short, black tail; and black wings with a white patch. The male has a yellow forehead; a dark brown cap; a lighter brown back; and a yellow breast and rump. The female has a pale gray breast and rump and a darker gray back.


apThe evening grosbeak breeds across much of southern Canada south to northern California, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes, and the Northeastern United States, including New Hampshire. It winters throughout the United States, except for the southern most parts of the southeastern United States.


The evening grosbeak breeds in coniferous forests. It winters in coniferous, deciduous, or mixed forests.


eveninggrosbeakMost of the evening grosbeak's diet is made up of seeds and fruits, but it also eats insects. It prefers the seeds of maple, spruce, pine, fir, and balsam trees. The evening grosbeak is a common visitor to bird feeders and is especially fond of sunflower seeds.

Life Cycle

eveninggrosbeakThe female evening grosbeak lays 3-4 eggs in a nest of pine needles, roots, and twigs, and lined with grass, lichen, and moss. The nest is built by the female and is usually placed high in a tree. The female incubates the eggs for 12-14 days. The male brings the female food while she incubates the eggs. Both the male and the female feed the chicks. The chicks fledge when they are around two weeks old, but their parents continue to feed them for a few weeks. Male and female pairs may have two broods a year.


eveninggrosbeakThe evening grosbeak feeds in noisy flocks. It is a nomadic bird, if the food supply is low in an area, it will move in search of a better location. Some eastern populations migrate south in the winter. Other populations may migrate from high altitudes to lower altitudes.

Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Andrew Spencer cc logo