Nov 11 2012

Will I Ever See…?

Published by at 6:20 am under Beyond Bounds,Songbirds

I have never seen an evening grosbeak, but this winter I might get my chance.

For the first time in years, evening grosbeaks are coming south in big numbers because there aren't enough tree seeds in Canada.  Without food at home they're on the move in a variable migration called an irruption.

Winter irruptions are not uncommon, but evening grosbeaks are.  Last winter snowy owls came to western Pennsylvania, pine siskins and white-winged crossbills visited in 2008-2009 and redpolls in 2007-2008.  But evening grosbeak sightings have declined over the years.

Happily, on November 5 the grosbeaks arrived at Marcy Cunkelman's yard in Indiana County (here's a beautiful male at her feeder), but alas, they were gone by this weekend when I could travel to see them.

So now I wait for news of a reliable *weekend* flock of evening grosbeaks near Pittsburgh.

Will I see my first one this winter? I hope so.

(photo by Marcy Cunkelman)

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Will I Ever See…?”

  1. FAITH CORNELLon 11 Nov 2012 at 9:04 am

    they are truly beautiful; the ones who used to visit me were red tho where this one was yellow, there were 2 pairs, both couples came to feed because I only put out sunflower seeds, and then the babies came, such a happy time. However, I live in a condo bldg. & a few people were unhappy with me because the birds of course stopped at a deck above me before coming down to my feeder so I have called on the several times so I took the food away, they came for awhile to look but now not even a dove or pigeon stops by. So I am committed to your site Kate where I can enjoy all the birds all the time any time. Thanks again.

  2. Libby Strizzion 11 Nov 2012 at 9:07 am

    Go to Monson MA — near Springfield. We used to see 100s every day — they’d land at the top of a big ole elm tree. My mother-in-law put out sunflower seeds for them, which they loved. That was back in the 60s — don’t know if they are still there. Would you travel to see them? I could try to find out if they’re still there.

  3. Steve-oon 11 Nov 2012 at 11:00 am

    You should come visit NM some time. I almost saw a feeding flock last year but they never showed up. I could put you in touch with some very good local people and you’d see lots of birds. Plus its beautiful here and the food is great.

  4. Marcy Con 11 Nov 2012 at 7:02 pm

    When I was younger (in the late 60s) and again in the mid 90s when they came down to feed, they used to come in flocks of 25 or 30….loved the sunflower seeds….the ones this past week loved the striped and black oil sunflower seeds and also the safflower seed…and this one was literally out my living room window…we have a great set up and the birds aren’t afraid to come in and eat…bring on the Redpolls and Crossbills…

  5. Melissa Rohmon 12 Nov 2012 at 8:21 am

    Kate, I’ve been trying for YEARS to see them, so don’t feel bad.

    I have a life-size Evening Grosbeak Christmas tree ornament which I’m seriously considering gluing to the top of my birdfeeder. 🙂

  6. kcon 14 Nov 2012 at 12:26 pm

    I’ve never seen one either.

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