Evening Grosbeak Coccothraustes vespertinus (W. Cooper, 1825)    Synonyms: EVGR.
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Chordata   >   Class Aves   >   Order Passeriformes   >   Family Fringillidae   >   Genus Coccothraustes   

Status:

Evening Grosbeaks are a rare and irruptive winter visitor to Maryland from northern North America. The winters of 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 were significant irruption seasons, with many reports coming in from around the state. The winter of 2020-2021 marked one of the biggest irruption years in recent memory, a 'superflight' of northern finches (Audubon, 2020). Such irruptions are often fueled by outbreaks of Spruce Budworm Moth during the Spring and Summer on northern nesting grounds, providing abundant caterpillars for Evening Grosbeaks and other northern finches, such as Pine Siskin, redpolls, Purple Finch, and Pine Grosbeak, to feed hungry young. The resulting high reproduction rates lead to heavy competition in the Fall for food resources, generally mast of conifer trees. Because mast production varies from year to year, a year of low mast production that occurs in the same year as a heavy spring outbreak of Spruce Budworm Moths may result in irruptions of large numbers of southbound, food-seeking finches in winter.

Evening Grosbeak numbers have plummeted since the early 1990s, and efforts to radio-track them to learn more about their migration patterns are underway.

Description:

"Massive head and bill, short tail, relatively short but pointed wings. White wing-patches always conspicuous" (Sibley, 2000).

Where to find:

Evening Grosbeaks are "usually seen in noisy flocks in treetops or at bird feeders" (Sibley, 2000). At feeders, sunflower seed is a favorite.

There are 106 records in the project database.

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Evening Grosbeaks coming to a feeder in Baltimore Co., Maryland (11/5/2012). Photo by Frode Jacobsen. (MBP list)

A male Evening Grosbeak in Howard Co., Maryland (10/27/2012). Photo by Russ Ruffing. (MBP list)

A female Evening Grosbeak at Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, Calvert Co., Maryland (2/15/2008). Photo by Mark Hoffman. (MBP list)

A female Evening Grosbeak at Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, Calvert Co., Maryland (2/15/2008). Photo by Mark Hoffman. (MBP list)

A female Evening Grosbeak bathing at Point Lookout State Park, St. Mary's Co., Maryland (11/18/2012). Photo by Mikey Lutmerding. (MBP list)

A male Evening Grosbeak in Howard Co., Maryland (10/31/2018). Photo by Anthony VanSchoor. (MBP list)

A male Evening Grosbeak in Montgomery Co., Maryland (1/19/2021). Photo by Andy Connelly. (MBP list)

A female Evening Grosbeak in Montgomery Co., Maryland (2/10/2019). Photo by Scott Young. (MBP list)

A male Evening Grosbeak in Garrett Co., Maryland (11/23/2020). Photo by William Blauvelt. (MBP list)

A female Evening Grosbeak in Frostburg, Maryland (11/4/2012). Photo by J.B. Churchill. (MBP list)

A male Evening Grosbeak in Howard Co., Maryland (10/31/2018). Photo by Anthony VanSchoor. (MBP list)

Male Evening Grosbeak in Prince George's Co., Maryland (11/1/2020). (c) jugbayjs, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by jugbayjs via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Male Evening Grosbeak in Howard Co., Maryland (11/5/2020). (c) Tim Frye, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Tim Frye via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Evening Grosbeaks in Garrett Co., Maryland (1/23/2021). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

A female Evening Grosbeak in Queen Anne's Co., Maryland (12/20/2012). Photo by Danny Poet. (MBP list)

A pair of Evening Grosbeaks in Harford Co., Maryland (11/19/2012). Photo by Josh Emm. (MBP list)

Evening Grosbeak in Prince George's Co., Maryland (11/1/2020). (c) jugbayjs, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by jugbayjs via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Female Evening Grosbeak in St. Mary's Co., Maryland (11/18/2012). Photo by Tyler Bell. (MBP list)

Female Evening Grosbeak in Garrett Co., Maryland (10/30/2020). (c) Bill Blauvelt, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Photo by Bill Blauvelt via iNaturalist. (MBP list)

Evening Grosbeaks in Garrett Co., Maryland (1/23/2021). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

An Evening Grosbeak in Queen Anne's Co., Maryland (11/12/2018). Photo by Daniel Irons. (MBP list)

Evening Grosbeaks at Finzel Swamp in Garrett Co., Maryland (2/20/1994). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)


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