There’s a New Bird in Town by Barbara Baird

Near lunch time on November 2, I spotted yellow birds in my trees. My binoculars revealed the birds to be evening grosbeaks. There were four of them, two couples.

I hastily filled my platform feeder which started a feeding frenzy. The local birds took their morsels and flew off but the grosbeaks stayed in place enjoying their black-oiled sunflower seeds. They stayed for the afternoon, occasionally taking a drink from the water feature nearby.

My camera was set up in no time at all. I knew proof would be required for this species.

I watched for them all the next day but they never returned. I assume the couples were heading south to their winter home in Mexico, Central America, or northern South America.

I spoke with Grace Storch who organizes the Audubon spring and winter Bird Counts. The evening grosbeak has never been counted in Jo Daviess County. It’s not even listed on the bird sheets.

According to State of the Birds 2022 this species has lost two-thirds of its population in the last 50 years. Urgent science and conservation actions are needed to turn around these steep declines.