|Male Evening Grosbeak in Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, Quebec|
(W. Cooper, 1825)
|Summer and all-year range|
The Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus) is a large finch. In the past, it was treated in a genus of its own as Hesperiphona vespertina, but is now usually placed in the same genus as the Hawfinch of Eurasia.
The breeding habitat is coniferous and mixed forest across Canada and the western mountainous areas of the United States and Mexico. It is an extremely rare vagrant to the British Isles, with just two records so far. The nest is built on a horizontal branch or in a fork of a tree.
The migration of this bird is variable; in some winters, it may wander as far south as the southern U.S.
The Evening Grosbeak is similar in appearance to the Eurasian Hawfinch, both being bulky, heavily built finches with large bills and short tails. The Evening Grosbeak ranges in length from 16 to 22 cm (6.3 to 8.7 in) in length and spans 30 to 36 cm (12 to 14 in) across the wings. In a large sampling of grosbeaks in Pennsylvania during winter, males weighed from 38.7 to 86.1 g (1.37 to 3.04 oz), with an average of 60 g (2.1 oz), while females weighed from 43.2 to 73.5 g (1.52 to 2.59 oz), with an average of 58.7 g (2.07 oz). Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 10.45 to 11.6 cm (4.11 to 4.6 in), the tail is 6 to 6.95 cm (2.4 to 2.74 in), the bill is 1.6 to 2 cm (0.63 to 0.79 in) and the tarsus is 1.95 to 2.2 cm (0.77 to 0.87 in). The adult has a short black tail, black wings and a large pale bill. The adult male has a bright yellow forehead and body; its head is brown and there is a large white patch in the wing. The adult female is mainly olive-brown, greyer on the underparts and with white patches in the wings.
These birds forage in trees and bushes, sometimes on the ground. They mainly eat seeds, berries and insects. Outside of the nesting season they often feed in flocks. Sometimes, they will swallow fine gravel.
The range of this bird has expanded far to the east in historical times, possibly due to plantings of Manitoba maples and other maples and shrubs around farms and the availability of bird feeders in winter.
Further reading 
Gillihan, S. W., and B. Byers. 2001. Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes verspertinus). In The Birds of North America, No. 599 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
- Prescott DRC. Ph.D. (1992). Differential migration in the evening grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus): A test of hypotheses. University of Calgary (Canada), Canada.
- Bekoff M. (1995). Cognitive ethology, vigilance, information gathering, and representation: Who might know what and why?. Behavioural Processes. vol 35, no 1-3. pp. 225–237.
- Bekoff M. (1995). Vigilance, Flock Size, and Flock Geometry: Information Gathering by Western Evening Grosbeaks (Aves, Fringillidae). Ethology. vol 99, no 2. pp. 150–161.
- Bekoff M, Scott AC & Conner DA. (1987). Nonrandom Nest-Site Selection in Evening Grosbeaks. Condor. vol 89, no 4. pp. 819–829.
- Bekoff M, Scott AC & Conner DA. (1989). Ecological Analyses of Nesting Success in Evening Grosbeaks. Oecologia. vol 81, no 1. pp. 67–74.
- Bennetts RE & Hutto RL. (1985). Attraction of Social Fringillids to Mineral Salts an Experimental Study. Journal of Field Ornithology. vol 56, no 2. pp. 187–189.
- Brunswig NL, Winton SG & Hamel PB. (1983). A Dietary Overlap of Evening Grosbeaks Coccothraustes-Vespertinus and Carolina Parakeets Conuropsis-Carolinensis. Wilson Bulletin. vol 95, no 3.
- Cumming EE & Diamond AW. (2002). Songbird community composition versus forest rotation age in Saskatchewan boreal mixedwood forest. Canadian Field Naturalist. vol 116, no 1. pp. 69–75.
- Daoust PY, Busby DG, Ferns L, Goltz J, McBurney S, Poppe C & Whitney H. (2000). Salmonellosis in songbirds in the Canadian Atlantic provinces during winter-summer 1997-98. Canadian Veterinary Journal-Revue Veterinaire Canadienne. vol 41, no 1. pp. 54–59.
- Dean J. (1985). An Extraordinary Evening Grosbeak. Ontario Bird Banding. vol 17, no 17.
- Desser SS. (1980). An Ultrastructural Study of the Asexual Development of a Presumed Isospora-Sp in Mononuclear Phagocytic Cells of the Evening Grosbeak Hesperiphona-Vespertina. Journal of Parasitology. vol 66, no 4. pp. 601–612.
- Fee BA & Bekoff M. (1986). Polygyny in the Evening Grosbeak. Wilson Bulletin. vol 98, no 2. pp. 308–308.
- Garrison BA, Triggs ML & Wachs RL. (2005). Short-term effects of group-selection timber harvest on landbirds in montane hardwood-conifer habitat in the central Sierra Nevada. Journal of Field Ornithology. vol 76, no 1. pp. 72–82.
- Gilbert FF & Allwine R. (1991). Spring Bird Communities in the Oregon Cascade Range USA. U S Forest Service General Technical Report PNW. vol 285, pp. 145–159.
- Gillihan SW & Byers B. (2001). Evening Grosbeak: Coccothraustes vespertinus. Birds of North America. vol 599, pp. 1–23.
- Hagar JC, McComb WC & Emmingham WH. (1996). Bird communities in commercially thinned and unthinned Douglas-fir stands of western Oregon. Wildlife Society Bulletin. vol 24, no 2. pp. 353–366.
- Hahn TP, Kelsey TR & Pereyra ME. (2001). Geographic variation in flight calls of a nomadic cardueline finch, the evening grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus). American Zoologist. vol 41, no 6. pp. 1462–1463.
- Hayes JP, Weikel JM & Huso MMP. (2003). Response of birds to thinning young Douglas-fir forests. Ecological Applications. vol 13, no 5. pp. 1222–1232.
- Helleiner CW. (1979). Xanthochroism in the Evening Grosbeak. Canadian Field Naturalist. vol 93, no 1. pp. 66–67.
- Hudon J. (1997). Non-melanic schizochroism in Alberta Evening Grosbeaks, Coccothraustes vespertinus. Canadian Field Naturalist. vol 111, no 4. pp. 652–654.
- Kinch B. (2006). Northern Shrike preys on Pine Grosbeak. Ontario Birds. vol 24, no 3. pp. 160–161.
- Koenig WD & Knops JMH. (2001). Seed-crop size and eruptions of North American boreal seed-eating birds. Journal of Animal Ecology. vol 70, no 4. pp. 609–620.
- Langelier LA & Garton EO. (1986). Management Guidelines for Increasing Populations of Birds That Feed on Western Spruce Budworm. U S Department of Agriculture – Agriculture Handbook. vol 653, pp. 1–19.
- LeBaron GS. (2000). The one-hundred first Christmas Bird Count. American Birds. vol 101, pp. 6–12.
- Levine ND. (1982). The Genus Atoxoplasma Protozoa Apicomplexa. Journal of Parasitology. vol 68, no 4. pp. 719–723.
- Manuwal DA. (1991). Spring Bird Communities in the Southern Washington Cascade Range USA. U S Forest Service General Technical Report PNW. vol 285, pp. 161–175.
- McGraw KJ, Beebee MD, Hill GE & Parker RS. (2003). Lutein-based plumage coloration in songbirds is a consequence of selective pigment incorporation into feathers. Comparative Biochemistry & Physiology Part B Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 135B. vol 4, pp. 689–696.
- McGraw KJ, Hudon J, Hill GE & Parker RS. (2005). A simple and inexpensive chemical test for behavioral ecologists to determine the presence of carotenoid pigments in animal tissues. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology. vol 57, no 4. pp. 391–397.
- Mikaelian I, Ley DH, Claveau R, Lemieux M & Berube J-P. (2001). Mycoplasmosis in evening and pine grosbeaks with conjunctivitis in Quebec. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. vol 37, no 4. pp. 826–830.
- Mindell DP & Sites JWJ. (1987). Tissue Expression Patterns of Avian Isozymes a Preliminary Study of Phylogenetic Applications. Systematic Zoology. vol 36, no 2. pp. 137–152.
- O'Hara PD, Fernandez G, Haase B, de la Cueva H & Lank DB. (2006). Differential migration in Western Sandpipers with respect to body size and wing length. Condor. vol 108, no 1. pp. 225–232.
- Prescott DRC. (1991). Winter Distribution of Age and Sex Classes in an Irruptive Migrant the Evening Grosbeak Coccothraustes-Vespertinus. Condor. vol 93, no 3. pp. 694–700.
- Prescott DRC. (1994). Intraspecific and geographical trends in body size of a differential migrant, the Evening Grosbeak. Auk. vol 111, no 3. pp. 693–702.
- Scott AC & Bekoff M. (1991). Breeding Behavior of Evening Grosbeaks. Condor. vol 93, no 1. pp. 71–81.
- Sewall K, Kelsey R & Hahn TP. (2004). Discrete variants of Evening Grosbeak flight calls. Condor. vol 106, no 1. pp. 161–165.
- Svingen D & Rogers TH. (1994). Winter Season: Idaho/Western Montana Region. National Audubon Society Field Notes. vol 48, no 3. pp. 320–322.
- Takekawa JY & Garton EO. (1984). How much is an evening Grosbeak worth. Journal of Forestry. vol 82, no 7. pp. 426–428.
- Van Scheik WJ. (1994). Burrowing mites that pester birds. Blue Jay. vol 52, no 4. pp. 204–205.
- Wilson WH, Jr. (1995). The distribution of wintering birds in central Maine: The interactive effects of landscape and bird feeders. Journal of Field Ornithology. vol 65, no 4. pp. 512–519.
- Zach R & Mayoh KR. (1985). Gamma-Radiation-Induced Spatial Avoidance in Birds. Radiation Research. vol 104, no 1. pp. 66–70.
- BirdLife International (2004). Coccothraustes vespertinus. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 9 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
- CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses by John B. Dunning Jr. (Editor). CRC Press (1992), ISBN 978-0-8493-4258-5.
- Finches and Sparrows by Peter Clement. Princeton University Press (1999). ISBN 978-0691048789.
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