In On the Move, our regular column about migration, we present pairs of distribution maps from eBird that you can use to compare where interesting birds are at different times of year. We featured Evening Grosbeak, pictured above, in our November/December 2018 issue.
A stocky, showy finch of northern coniferous forests, Evening Grosbeak is quite a visual treat. Males are a contrast of bright yellow, black, and white, while females sport slightly more subdued grays and browns. All individuals have a large, conical bill. The maps above show where we might find it. In June, the species inhabits coniferous forests across the boreal zone of Canada and in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountains regions. In December, some individuals have moved south into the northern Great Plains, Midwest, and New England. The Evening Grosbeak’s movements are difficult to predict, and therefore the species is considered to be “irruptive” across its range. Look for this species in coniferous forest and also at bird-feeding stations, where it can appear suddenly.
eBird is the real-time online checklist operated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon. “On the Move” is written by eBird’s Garrett MacDonald, Chris Wood, Marshall Iliff, and Brian Sullivan. Submit your bird sightings at ebird.org.
A version of this article appeared in “Birding Briefs” in the November/December 2018 issue of BirdWatching.