Evening Grosbeak Coccothraustes vespertinus
Sound (104 KB)
8 inches (20 cm)
• Yellow body
• Dark head with yellow eyebrow
• Black tail and wings with white patch on inner wing
• Wing linings yellow
• Large, pale, conical bill
• Short tail
• Distinctive call note often given in flight
• Frequently gathers in flocks
• Yellow forehead, supercilium and body
• Brown head and upperback
• Black wings and tail
• Large white patch in wing
• Gray upperparts
• Pale gray underparts
• Black wings and tail
• White patches in wings
• The male Evening Grosbeak is instantly recognizable. Females have large bills, short tails and distinctive call notes.
NESTING & FEEDING:
BREEDING: Coniferous and mixed coniferous-deciduous forest, second growth, parks. Primarily at higher altitudes in coniferous forest in w. 2? broods. Mating system is believed to be monogamous.
DISPLAYS: Courting male crouches low, puffs out plumage, extends and rapidly quivers wings; male and female may alternately bow. Male does not sing during display but female may occasionally call; male may occasionally feed female.
NEST: Frail structure usually well out on horizontal limb 20 to 100 feet above ground; of twigs, sticks, roots, lined with fine materials. Female builds nest.
EGGS: 3-4 Blue or blue-green, marked with brown, gray, purple, occasionally black. 1.0" (24 mm).
CHICK DEVELOPMENT: Female incubates. Incubation takes 11-14 days. Development is altricial (immobile, downless, eyes closed, fed). Young leave the nest after 13-14 days. Both sexes tend young.
DIET: Insects only in breeding season, for up to 20% of diet; seeds of trees and shrubs, occasionally of forbs; juniper berries and pinon nuts in w mountains. Fond of maple sap and buds of deciduous trees and shrubs. Nestlings fed well-masticated insect larvae and crushed seeds of fleshy fruits. Often feeds on dirt and gravel for minerals and salts.
CONSERVATION: Winters s sporadically to Oaxaca. Frequent highway casualty when seeking road salts. Rare cowbird host. Breeding range expanded e since 1900.
NOTES: Male feeds incubating female. Very tame. Highly irruptive. Wings longest relative to body size of all North America finches.
Coccothraustes vespertina EVENING GROSBEAK. Coniferous and mixed woodland, second growth, towns. Sw,nc British Columbia, n Alberta, s Mackenzie and c Saskatchewan e across s Canada to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and s to c Calif., wc,e Nevada, c,se Arizona, sc New Mexico and e from c Colorado, c Wyoming, wc Montana and wc Alberta e across s Canada to nc,ne Minnesota, n Wisconsin, n Michigan, n New York and Massachusetts to n New England. High mts. of Mexico in two disjunct populations. W Chihuahua, w Durango, e Sinaloa. Ec Michoacán, México, Morelos, s Puebla, wc Veracruz to nw Oaxaca. Winters irregularly s to s U.S. with irruptions beyond usual winter range. Increasing eastward, often breeding outside the usual range given above.