Evening Grosbeaks

I had heard that flocks of Evening Grosbeaks were in the Rockingham Co., Virginia area. However, I could never discover where they were showing up on a regular basis. Then a friend from Ohio, where we used to live, sent me a text with a photo of Evening Grosbeaks that were regular visitors at her brother’s feeders. He lived a little more than 10 miles from our home.

I called and received persmission to photograph the birds. The home owner, also a birder, said the birds usually fed in the morning between 7 and 9. My wife and I arrived around 8 a.m., and I drove slowly up the farm’s long driveway. As soon as I reached the back of the house where the feeders were, about 30 Evening Grosbeaks flew to trees not far away. I lowered the van windows and waited for them to return.

And return they did! I had both of my cameras along, and I clicked away. I had seen Evening Grosbeaks before, but never this close or this many. Normally, Evening Grosbeaks don’t venture this far south in the winter. But during irruption years, they appear almost randomly at various locations in the east and midwest. It is thought that an irruption occurs when the hatch rate of birds is high, but their usual food supplies can’t match the demand. Other species, like Snow Owls, also appear in irruptions. The Evening Grosbeaks were feeding on black oil sunflower seeds.

“Evening Grosbeaks” is my Photo of the Week.

© Bruce Stambaugh 2020

Author: Bruce Stambaugh

Writer, marketer, columnist, author, photographer, birder, walker, hiker, husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, township trustee, converted Anabaptist, community activist, my life is crammed with all things people and nature and wonder. My late father gave me this penchant for giving and getting the most out of life, my late mother the courtesy, kindness, and creativity to see the joy in life. They both taught me to cherish the people I am with. I try and fail and try again.

12 thoughts on “Evening Grosbeaks”

  1. What a neat surprise and good photo!

    On Thu, Jan 7, 2021 at 9:48 AM Roadkill Crossing wrote:

    > Bruce Stambaugh posted: ” I had heard that flocks of Evening Grosbeaks > were in the Rockingham Co., Virginia area. However, I could never discover > where they were showing up on a regular basis. Then a friend from Ohio, > where we used to live, sent me a text with a photo of Even” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Easy to mistake for Goldfinches – which we see visiting our balcony occasionally. However, we’re not allowed feeders here, so the Finches just come long enough to sit on our balcony railing to inquire and then go shopping for their lunch somewhere else!

    Thanks so much for starting off our new year with reminders of beauty in spite of the current ugliness and rhetoric in DC.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Bruce, I love this photo. Yesterday, here in northern MI, I had 3 pair of evening grosbeak enjoying the safflower seed tray. I saw some last May also but do not usually have them.

    Liked by 1 person

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