They’re Back!

Some lucky feeder operators in Ontario are enjoying our very colourful Evening Grosbeaks once again. In 2020 there was a movement that saw birds in a number of locations but last winter was not as good. While small flocks showed up in 2021, most moved on. This year thousands have descended from the boreal forest across a broad area from Southern Ontario, through Hamilton, Toronto and into the east, with several to a few dozen appearing regularly in backyards. In some areas it is reminiscent of flights in the 1960s.

Because of their large size and tendency to appear in flocks, platform feeders are particularly appealing. There they will devour black-oil sunflower seeds, earning them the nickname Evening ‘Greedy’. One bird was observed to consume 96 seeds in five minutes! They are not only feasting on handouts however.  In the woods they will be searching for tree seeds, notably Manitoba maple, various berries and fruit. Listen for their calls, which have been described as being like a glorified House Sparrow.

Happy Birding!

Brian Morin

Publisher of Ontario Birding News

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