Wild Bird Feature: All About Evening Grosbeaks

Wild Bird Feature: All About Evening Grosbeaks

Elinor CohenSeptember 07, 2022

Day or night, the Evening Grosbeak is a beautiful bird worthy of its own feature. Learn all about the Evening Grosbeak here!

Looking Large

Evening Grosbeaks are rather large, heavyset finches akin to the Northern Cardinal in size. Male Evening Grosbeaks’ compact, thick bodies are prominently decorated with yellow and black coloring and white patches on the wings. Males have dark heads, a bright yellow stripe over the eye, and a pale ivory bill. Females and immatures have gray coloring with white and black wings. They have a greenish-yellow tinge on the neck and flanks and a greenish bill.

Seasonal Feeders: Eating with the Evening Grosbeak

A unique feature of the Evening Grosbeak is their diet, which changes with the seasons. These finches are very into seeds, particularly sunflower seeds and sunflower hearts bird seed in the wintertime. They’re also fans of maple sap for its high sugar content, as well as berries and small fruits. Birders are advised to look for food for cardinals and wild bird seed mixes should they want to attract Evening Grosbeaks to their yards.

Evening Grosbeaks’ large, thick bills are perfect for crushing seeds that are too big for other songbirds like Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins. In fact, their name comes from the French word gros, which means “thick” and bec for “beak”.They also have notoriously large tongues to help them scoop out seeds and swallow them after they crack the seeds open. This is beneficial for everyone; the Grosbeaks get their seeds and the other birds take care of the scraps the Grosbeaks leave behind. Talk about DIY no mess bird food!

In the summer, Evening Grosbeaks turn into insect lovers. Spruce budworms (tiny caterpillars) are their favorites; while it’s a good thing that Evening Grosbeaks eat up these pests, seeing Grosbeaks in a coniferous forest with spruce trees could be an indication that there has been a spruce budworm outbreak. This could become problematic when the pests defoliate and/or kill trees. 

A Social Songbird Without a Song

Part of the finch family, Evening Grosbeaks are songbirds with no song. They have no complex sounds to attract mates or defend their territory, but that doesn’t mean they’re silent. With a small collection of simple, sweet calls, piercing notes, and burry chirps, Evening Grosbeaks are a welcome sight all around the continental United States.  

Listen to the sweet, burry chirps of the Evening Grosbeak when you click the video below! 

These social birds are commonly found in large flocks of between 100 to 300 birds. Their migration patterns or lack thereof are quite “irruptive” or irregular in that they change from year to year. Birders trying to identify where Evening Grosbeaks will be any given winter may find it difficult. Sometimes they show up at bird feeders in the southern part of North America, which is far from their normal winter range, while other winters they frequent the spruce-fir, pine-oak, and aspen forests in the northern parts of North America and the mountains of the West. 

If you’re looking to lure Evening Grosbeaks to your backyard, we recommend adding cardinal bird food, a cardinal bird seed mix, or perhaps a wild bird seed mix to your bird feeders. As long as you fill your feeder with fresh, high quality wild bird feed, you can’t go wrong!

Valley Farms Striped Sunflower Seed Wild Bird Food $28.00

Available in 10 lb and 25 lb quantities.

A terrific source of energy for wild birds Attract cardinals, grosbeaks, sparrows, titmice, and nuthatches with this straight seed product.

Valley Farms Cardinal Mix Wild Bird Food $21.60

Available in 3lb or 10lb quantities.

This product contains a mix of ingredients. Ingredients include clean Striped Sunflower, Black Oil Sunflower, BuckWheat, and Safflower Seed.


Find all the wild bird food and bird seed mixes you need when you shop with us at Valley Farms® today!

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