Evening Grosbeak

Coccothraustes vespertinus
Evening Grosbeak specimens on display in the exhibit "Birds of D.C."

One of North America’s larger finches, the Evening Grosbeak is most easily identified by its large size (8 inches), massive bill, and large white wing patches. Male Evening Grosbeaks are bright yellow on the lower body becoming duller yellow-brown towards the head, with striking yellow foreheads and eye-stripes. The female is similar but duller, having less yellow on the head and body. The Evening Grosbeak breeds across southern Canada and the northern tier of the United States. Smaller populations occur further south at higher elevations in the western U.S. and northern and central Mexico. Many Evening Grosbeaks spend the winter on their breeding grounds, but occasionally large numbers will migrate as far south as Texas and South Carolina in response to changes in food supply. Evening Grosbeaks inhabit cool forests containing both evergreen and deciduous trees. Birds that move south for the winter are normally found in similar habitats, but have also been recorded in more built-up areas where ornamental box elder trees are planted. Evening Grosbeaks eat fruits, berries, seeds, and insects when available. In their native habitat, Evening Grosbeaks may be most easily seen foraging for food in the tree canopy or on the ground. When this species occurs in built-up areas, individuals may also be seen visiting bird feeders. This species is most active during the day.

DC Information

An irregular winter visitor from the north, October to March. Usually seen in flocks around feeders and trees or shrubs with berries. The female is much paler than the male.

Specimen Information

This is the information for the bird on the left. 
Date:  5/9/1879
Collected By:  RS Williams
Locality:  Minneapolis, MN
Sex:  Male
Catalog ID:  83332

Distribution Map

distribution map for this species

Bird Vocalization

Sound from xeno-canto. XC52463 Hesperiphona vespertina (Evening Grosbeak)