Evening Grosbeaks are part of the Fringillidae family which is a family of finches. They are a larger specie of finches with a height of 6-8 inches and a wingspan of 12-14 inches. Females look similar except they don’t have yellow on their stomach or head.
These Grosbeaks live in almost the entire country of the United States. They live in coniferous forests of northern North America and the Rocky Mountains, which includes pine-oak pinyon-juniper, aspen forests and more. Grosbeaks also live in deciduous forests of suburban and urban areas. Though they live and breed in forests, you may also see them at your bird feeder if you live near wilderness or wooded areas.
Evening Grosbeaks are ground foragers, you will often see them hopping around looking for seeds and insects. You may often see them in large flocks but during the breeding season they will break off and form monogamous pairs.
Nesting and Nestlings:
Females build the nest, which is a circular shape of roots and twigs lined with pine needles grass, moss, rootlets, and lichen. The nests are about 5 inches long and 5 inches high, and the inner cup measures about 3 inches across and 1 inch deep. These nests are usually located high up towards the top of the tree. They will like to nest in types of spruces and pines like Red Spruce, Black Spruce, Norway Spruce, Jeffery Pine and Jack Pine.
The females will lay about 3-4 eggs which are light blueish-green with brownish-purple spots. She incubates them for about 2 weeks, during this time, the male delivers food to her. After the babies hatch, they are fed by both of their parents for the time that they are in their nest but even after around 2 weeks when they leave the nest, they are still fed by their parents for a little while.
Evening Grosbeaks eat mostly invertebrates in the summer such as larvae, caterpillars, and aphids. They also eat a wide variety of seeds including larger ones that they can crush with their strong beaks. Though invertebrates and seeds are a large part of their diet, they will also eat small fruits, such as cherries or wild berries.
Evening Grosbeaks are widespread and have a huge population, but it has dropped quite a lot in recent decades according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. As climate change alters the landscape throughout this next century, the tree balsam fir is expected to shrink back from New England, and we may not see Evening Grosbeaks in this region anymore.