Evening Grosbeaks tend to eat seeds of maples, ashes, apples, box elder, cherries, Russian olive, and occasionally pines (Gillihan and Byers 2001). The male brings food to the female on the nest. The Evening Grosbeak was not commonly found east of the Rocky Mountains before the 1850’s. “Their population was inordinately high back in the 70s and 80s because one of their main foods is the spruce budworm. Planted ornamentally in new cities as well as for windbreaks, box elder seeds were soon devoured by Evening Grosbeaks during the fall and winter. The boom in population that expanded their range east was probably due to massive outbreaks of spruce budworm in Canadian boreal forests, he explains. More>, Supporting the Protection of the Minnesota-Ontario border region and Superior National Forest including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Quetico Provincial Park, Voyageurs National Park, La Verendrye Provincial Park, Isle Royale National Park, and Lake Superior. It is theorized that this could possibly have lured the Evening Grosbeaks eastward. Some have been found to nest in the United States, including northeast Minnesota, as well as Upper Michigan and Maine. They also have yellow underwings. Both members of the pair feed the young. Favorite foods of the Evening Grosbeak include seeds, fruits and insects, although this bird does enjoy eating sunflower seeds at bird feeders. Most finch species are sexually dimorphic and monogamous, and although the females alone generally incubate the eggs, both sexes help tend the young. Evening Grosbeak Life History Habitat. Some birds even make it to pine forests in Mexico. Scientific Name: Coccothraustes vespertinus. Winter Finches & Friends Of North America: A Naturalist’s Handbook. In most cases, pairs form before the birds arrive on the breeding grounds. If you find the information on BirdWeb useful, please consider supporting Seattle Audubon. The Evening Grosbeak is somewhat stocky, with an extremely thick, olive colored bill. Also feeds on buds of deciduous trees, berries, small fruits, weed seeds. As with many finches whose diet is primarily vegetarian, Evening Grosbeaks are attracted to natural salt and mineral sources. Often Evening Grosbeaks have come to the southern edge of the boreal forest in the late fall, sometimes extending from Northern Minnesota to the Rockies. Few, if any, report seeing Evening Grosbeaks anywhere else in MN. Evening Grosbeaks breed in mixed conifer forests, but will used broadleaved trees for nesting and foraging. Young Evening Grosbeaks leave the nest after 13 to 14 days, but remain near the nest for 2 to 5 days, and the adults continue to feed them for some time after that. Across the state, Evening Grosbeaks counts have decreased from 30% to less than 10% in the last fifteen years, according to data provided by the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Grosbeaks are predominantly migratory. Stensaas suggests today’s population of Evening Grosbeaks on the continent possibly reflects pre-boom numbers. Some pairs raise two clutches in a single season. Nest: Builds a shallow saucer-shaped nest from plant materials. They also eat sunflower seeds at bird feeders, but due to their beak and body size they only take sunflower seeds from hopper and platform feeders. This is true in the Boundary Waters,” said Frelich. Irruptions in fall and winter are common in response to changing food supplies. We’re already seeing habitat impact in the boreal forests of Canada related to climate change and the increase in natural fires. Length: 7.5 - 8.5". They also forage on the ground and often gather at roadsides or in campground fire-pits, where they forage on minerals. Diet / Feeding: These birds forage in trees and bushes, sometimes on the ground. They have black wings with white patches, but less white on their wings than the males. More About Us >. In the nesting season, the male’s bill is almost chartreuse. Birds > Grosbeaks. Sunflower seeds are one of their favorites. The northern Minnesota landscape is experiencing plenty of balsam firs right now, he reports. They’ll even eat flowers of birch and maple, as well as fruit and berries. If there’s enough food in their nesting area, they stay put. “In several decades all that fir is going to die from having the climate too warm, but right now fir is increasing,” said Frelich. Female. Published by the Quetico Superior Foundation Since 1964.