Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Evening Grosbeak

We were delighted to discover a pair of Evening Grosbeaks at our feeder on 6 June 2019. The female fed while the male flew into our banding net. The female then followed the male into the net. Then both birds escaped.

We enjoyed seeing Evening Grosbeaks in northern Minnesota. Eastern and western populations are slightly different. Western birds have longer bills and the females tend to have darker, brownish-washed underparts. The second image, of a female from Minnesota, sort of illustrates the difference in bill size. Evening Grosbeak flight calls have at least four dialects across North America. Western birds have somewhat clearer calls, whereas eastern ones tend to be more raspy. The difference, however, is subtle. Evening Grosbeak flight calls are usually unmistakable. These grosbeaks are odd songbirds in that they seldom sing (Gillihan and Byers 2002).

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