by , Ranger
Greg Dodge is a professional naturalist as well as a writer, videographer and producer of natural history DVDs. His images have been used in various TV productions, museum displays, and corporate videos. Above all, he has a fascination and passion for all things natural.
Stop by and say hello Tuesday thru Saturday in Explore the Wild, Catch the Wind, or on the Dino Trail.

Keep an eye out for…

November 20th, 2012

Evening Grosbeaks, Common Redpolls, Purple Finches, and Pine Siskins. Those birds are all considered winter finches. Purple Finches and Pine Siskins usually show up in our area each winter. Evening Grosbeaks and Common Redpolls DO NOT. There have been reports of all of those birds on Carolinabirds ListServ during the past week.

I haven’t seen an Evening Grosbeak in North Carolina in almost twenty years and that was a flyby of 7 or 8 birds over the field area of Few’s Ford, Eno River State Park in Durham. I’ve never seen a redpoll in the state.

Evening Grosbeaks are big and beautiful. The males are brightly colored with yellow, black and white, with a horn-colored bills. The females are less colorful but still impressive. Flocks of these handsome birds wander around the countryside looking for seed bearing trees, like maple and ash. If they happen to come across your bird feeder on their search you’ll be out buying more seed the next day, they attack bird feeders.

Much smaller than grosbeaks, Common Redpolls also travel the winter countryside searching for seeds, typically small seeds, which means that they will come to your thistle feeder with the goldfinches that you may already have. They travel in specific flocks with other redpolls. However, most of the redpolls that I’ve seen, other than the flocks that I’ve encountered in the north, Upstate New York or New England, have been lone redpolls at feeders munching on seeds alongside goldfinches and siskins.

So, keep a lookout for these birds. If you see them consider yourself lucky, they don’t show up in our area often. You may also want to consider buying more seed now just in case it’s the grosbeaks that drop in on you.

If you happen to see any of these species here at the Museum, please let me know as soon as you can, I’d like very much to get some photos.

Good luck!



Join the conversation:

  1. Just thought I would share that I saw my very first Evening Grosbeak yesterday on the Outer Banks. I did get a couple nice photos of both the male and female.

    Posted by Lyndi Harris
  2. Ranger Comment :

    Excellent! There’s nothing like a flock of Evening Grosbeaks to brighten up you day. I’m still waiting for them to show up here. It’s been a very long time…I would be very excited if they did suddenly appear at the feeders, or in an ash tree, or fly overhead….

    Posted by Greg Dodge

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

If you have an account on any of the Museum's blogs, you can sign in with the same login to contribute to the discussion.

If you don't have an account, signing up is free and easy.