Coffee At Steve’s Country #29. The Evening Grosbeak.

Good morning everyone! Also, Happy Friday! And Happy International Cabin Fever Day! You haven’t heard of that one? It hasn’t been around for very long, about 8 or 9 years now, always on the last Friday of January which is about half way through our winter. It’s one of those fun holidays and you have probably heard of many such fun holidays. This one I started, but more on that another time.

Several evening grosbeaks at my feeder.

Time to grab a coffee, or tea, and relax with Muffin and I for awhile. Muffin is at the window waiting for you to arrive, she always gets excited about this post, the first of the day. It is much milder this morning with a temp of only -19C (-2F), and it looks like we will get some sunshine this morning. Speaking of sunshine, let’s look at a sunny yellow bird, the evening grosbeak.

A female evening grosbeak showing the sunflower seed lined up lengthwise and always with the pointed end of the seed pointing into it’s mouth.

In the 1820s settlers noticed this bird in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies and it always came out in the evening, thus the name for it. Since that time it has spread right across Canada from coast to coast and it goes well down into the US as well. An amazing expansion for a bird, possibly helped along by the popularity of feeding birds by people. The males are very colorful as you can see by the pics with the females much duller in appearance. Both have large bills for the size of the bird, but other grosbeak species also have these large bills.

Male and female.

In winter the bill is bone colored and in spring it takes on a very green color. Although it has many calls and one short song, it’s most familiar call is a simple, loud chirp. It’s an important bird for eating harmful insects, especially the spruce budworm which can devastate whole forests. Each bird will eat up to 1,000 of these budworms per day! And feed large quantities to their young. They love the seeds from cones of spruce, balsam, and pine, the fruits of many wild shrubs and trees (actually it’s just the seeds in the fruits they want), but they prefer the seeds of Manitoba maple (and other maples) and box elder.

Here you can see the green color of it’s bill in spring on this female.

Little is known of their nesting activities, they move deeper into the forest for nesting and seem to like having several pairs living fairly close together. They are easily attracted to bird feeders and love sunflower seeds. One bird was recorded eating 96 sunflower seeds at one sitting! I have over 30 of these birds coming to my feeder, that’s a lot of seeds! And they always move the seed around in their beak so they can crack it open lengthwise.

Here we have the male in spring, the color of it’s bill is not as noticeable in this pic.

They also consume large quantities of salt and are often seen along the side of roads picking up salt and sand. They are always a welcome and cheerful looking and cheerful sounding bird to have around during the winter. But they are an erratic bird, there can be large numbers one winter and none the next. Well, I hope you enjoyed our brief look at this beautiful bird. Have a wonderful day and God bless!

Steve and Muffin.

Β©2021 Steve McLeod.

20 Comments on “Coffee At Steve’s Country #29. The Evening Grosbeak.

  1. I remember this Cabin Fever Day πŸ˜‚ and my silly question last year…πŸ˜… Anyway, Wishing you international Happy Cabin Fever DayπŸ₯³ Hey Muffin, very good morning to you, here my fist bump to you, oh that was sweet with your soft paws😸 I know you have strong claws hidden inside that πŸ˜‰Gros beak 😍 Male, female green one and not so visible coloured one 😁 All are so beautiful lovely photos Steve πŸ₯° That’s a lot of sunflower seed for one bird 🀨 they are good eatersπŸ˜‰ especially when it comes for freeβ˜ΊοΈπŸ˜… and surprising part is they consume lot of salt 😳 that is definitely different, not sure why they eat so much of sand πŸ€”πŸ§ Strange bird but cute and small 😍 Have a lovely Friday Steve ,πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰ Hey I came second this timeπŸ₯³πŸ˜

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    • Happy Cabin Fever Day Simon!πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ Oops, I guess it’s gone now for you,πŸ€”πŸ™„ I missed, I’m slow today.πŸ₯³πŸ₯³ Hope it was a good day!πŸ˜› It’s a great day, much nicer temp,πŸ˜ƒ cloudy now and we might get a little snow, not much though.😁 Yes, those grosbeaks can eat, and eat, and eat! It is odd that they like a lot of salt, it’s not known why they eat so much. All birds like a little salt, but these birds eat a lot. The sand helps them to digest their food better,😳 helps to grind up their food, especially those hard seeds so they get the most nutrition possible. Have a great weekend!πŸ˜€πŸ˜Ίβ˜•β˜•πŸŒžπŸŒ¨

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  2. Great photos Steve ! Info is most interesting ! Thanks for the coffee/tea which is always a benefit to me…hi Muffin ! It is good to spend time with you ! β˜•οΈβ˜•οΈπŸ˜ΊπŸπŸ™‚

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    • I’m happy you liked today’s post Sharon, hope you are having a good day!πŸ˜€πŸ˜Ίβ˜•β˜•πŸŒž
      Meow,meow!=So nice see you again!😻

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