If you’re in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or New York, you may soon see a striking black, yellow, and white bird a little smaller than an American Robin at your feeders.
Evening Grosbeaks are moving south this year, with dozens of birders reporting them this week in southeastern and central Michigan.
We haven’t seen any at our feeders (yet), but I hope we will soon!
Thanks to the kind invitation of a nearby birder, I was able to view more than 20 Evening Grosbeaks at their feeder this weekend.
I’ve never seen so many in one place!
What a beautiful sight to see these birds in our area.
The birds flew in and out from the nearby pine trees to the ground to the feeder. At one time, more than seven Grosbeaks were eating at the feeder.
First time I saw an Evening Grosbeak was years ago at Whitefish Point in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
I marveled at the stunning colors and the large bill; it’s a bigger bill than the Northern Cardinal.
Irruption Year for Evening Grosbeaks
While Evening Grosbeaks aren’t common in southeast and central Michigan, birders weren’t surprised when the birds started appearing in their trees and bird feeders.
This year’s Evening Grosbeak irruption—when birds that rely on food sources in the northern boreal forest move south in search of food— was predicted in the Winter Finch Forecast 2020-2021.
Tyler Hoar, who published the forecast, reported poor cone crops in the boreal forests would lead the birds to move southward.
From his forecast, Evening Grosbeaks are
…moving primarily towards the southwest are reported to be the highest early fall numbers recorded in 25 years.
Expect flights of Evening Grosbeaks into southern Ontario, southern Quebec, Maritime Provinces, New York and New England States, with some finches going farther south into the United States.
Much to the delight of birders, Hoar was correct in his forecast.
And many birding friends are reporting seeing Evening Grosbeaks as life birds (first time a bird is seen), which is amazing!