Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Small flock of Evening Grosbeaks a rare treat

MVFN Nature Notebook Sighting

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“We’ve been very fortunate in the last couple of days to have a small flock of Evening Grosbeaks at our feeders. It is such a wonderful treat to see these magnificent birds and hear their soft calls!! I can only hope they stay for a while. The last time we saw them on our property was in June 2017. When I lived in Quebec, in the 80’s, I used to get about 100 of these beautiful birds in my backyard. Their noise would wake me up in the morning. Unfortunately, now, when we see a few of them, it’s a rare event.”

Lise Balthazar, Sheridan Rapids, October 23, 2018

The following photos of female and male Evening Grosbeaks are by Lise Balthazar and Nat Capitanio

Male Evening Grosbeak photo Nat Capitanio

Female Evening Grosbeak photo Nat Capitanio

 

Female Evening Grosbeak photo Nat Capitanio

 

Female Evening Grosbeak photo Lise Balthazar

 

Female Evening Grosbeak photo Nat Capitanio

 

Male Evening Grosbeak photo Nat Capitanio

 

Male Evening Grosbeak photo Lise Balthazar

 

Male Evening Grosbeak photo Nat Capitanio

Male Evening Grosbeak photo Nat Capitanio

 

A species of special concern in Ontario

NOTE: Evening Grosbeaks (Coccothraustes vespertinus) were added to the Species at Risk in Ontario list in August 2018. Status: Special Concern. “Special Concern” means the species lives in the wild in Ontario, is not endangered or threatened, but may become threatened or endangered due to a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.

Information from Ontario Species at Risk in Ontario (https://www.ontario.ca/page/evening-grosbeak#section-0

What you can do:

Report a sighting of an endangered animal or plant to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful.

Bird Studies Canada is working to advance the understanding, appreciation and conservation of wild birds and their habitat in Ontario and elsewhere; for more information on how you can help, visit: bsc-eoc.org.

As with all wildlife, don’t disturb or harass the birds or nesting sites. Be respectful and observe from a distance.

Identified Threats:

Potential threats to the Evening Grosbeak include habitat loss and degradation from forestry practices, chemical measures to control Spruce Budworm populations and climate change impacts. Collisions with vehicles while flying over roads or ingesting salt along roadsides and hitting windows near bird feeders have also been identified as threats.

It is thought that the decline in populations since the 1970s is correlated with the 25-40 year natural cycle of the Spruce Budworm.