Evening Grosbeak

(Coccothraustes vespertinus)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

VU - Vulnerable

Evening Grosbeak



N5 - Secure

SNRB, SNRN - Unranked Breeding and Nonbreeding


not listed


Uncommon year-round resident in northern Minnesota; absent in the south


Coniferous and mixed woodlands, sometimes also deciduous woodlands; parks; and orchards


6¼ to 8 in length

11¾ to 14wingspan

      Photo by Laurie Wachholz


On the male, the head is brown with a black crown; a bold, bright yellow “eyebrow”; and a very large, light-colored, cone-shaped bill. The brown on the head fades into a golden-yellow breast and back. The underparts are yellow. The wings are black with a large, broad, white, wing patch. The tail is black and short. The female has a gray head and back, black and white wings, and no “eyebrow”.






Mostly seeds, especially from pine and spruce cones, but also insects, especially spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana).






What’s in a Name?
The International Ornithologists’ Union (IOU) classifies the Evening Grosbeak as Hesperiphona vespertina, and the American Ornithologists’ Union (AOU) as Coccothraustes vespertinus. The AOU is the final authority for names of North American birds used in North America. Most, but not all, U.S. sources use Coccothraustes vespertinus. All other sources use Hesperiphona vespertina.



Passeriformes (perching birds)






Fringillidae (finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers)




Subordinate Taxa

Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus brooksi)

Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus montana)

Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus vespertinus)


Hesperiphona vespertina











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Laurie Wachholz

  Evening Grosbeak    


MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos






  Evening Grosbeak
JMC Nature Photos
  Evening Grosbeak  
  29829 Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus)
Bill Keim
  29829 Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus)  
  gros bec errant- evening grosbeak
Richard et Diane
  gros bec errant- evening grosbeak  




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Other Videos

  Evening Grosbeaks Glow In Sunlight – Feb. 2, 2018
Cornell Lab Bird Cams

Published on Feb 2, 2018

The late morning sunlight accentuates the bright yellow plumage of Evening Grosbeaks on the Ontario FeederWatch cam.

Watch online with highlight clips and information about the birds at http://allaboutbirds.org/feederwatchcam

Thanks to Perky-Pet for helping to make the Ontario FeederWatch Cam possible!

The FeederWatch cam is located in a residential neighborhood in Manitouwadge, Ontario. This northern site is an excellent location to see winter finches like redpolls and grosbeaks as well as two species of Jays and even Ruffed Grouse! The feeders sit in the middle of a large backyard with a large birch tree that the birds love, as well as a mixed stand of conifers and several fruit and berry producing shrubs. There’s a small swamp just beyond the backyard as well as larger stands of woods and a small lake.The feeder system is the product of the camera hosts’ ingenuity, making use of plastic piping to support the feeders high enough above ground to foil the occasional squirrel, and a rotating set of feeders that provide black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer seed, whole and shelled peanuts, and peanut butter suet in a homemade hanging log to the dozens of species that visit.

About the Hosts
Tammie and Ben Hache have been members of Project FeederWatch since 2002, meticulously counting their backyard birds to help better understand what birds are doing throughout the winter. The years of FeederWatching have brought amazing views to the Haches; some of the highlights included counts with over 200 Evening Grosbeaks seen at once, high counts of 20+ Hoary Redpolls, an extremely out-of-range White-winged Dove, and the constant buzzing of hummingbirds in the summer. A winter of bird feeding requires a lot of food, too—last year over 750 lb of sunflower seeds were consumed by the hungry birds!

About Project FeederWatch
Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. FeederWatchers periodically count the birds they see at their feeders from November through early April and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. FeederWatch data help scientists track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance. Anyone with an interest in birds can participate in Project FeederWatch! There are people of all skill levels and backgrounds conducting FeederWatch counts, including children, families, individuals, classrooms, retired persons, youth groups, nature centers, and bird clubs.

Learn more and sign up online at http://feederwatch.org

  Evening Grosbeak
Larry Jordan

Published on Mar 14, 2011

Evening Grosbeak singing from a perch in an oak tree with several other species heard in the background.

  Evening Grosbeaks, Domke Lake, WA
Bill Pugel

Published on Jul 11, 2010

A flock of 20+ Evening Grosbeaks feeding, or just eating gravel, at Domke Lake, WA.

  Evening Grosbeaks

Published on Oct 17, 2014





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