The Evening Grosbeak is similar in appearance to the Hawfinch, both being bulky, heavily built finches with large bills and short tails. The Evening Grosbeak ranges in length from 16 to 22 cm (6.3 to 8.7 in) in length and spans 30 to 36 cm (12 to 14 in) across the wings. The adult has a short black tail, black wings and a large pale bill. The adult male has a bright yellow forehead and body; its head is brown and there is a large white patch in the wing. The adult female is mainly olive-brown, greyer on the underparts and with white patches in the wings.

Habitat and Distribution

The breeding habitat is coniferous and mixed forest across Canada and the western mountainous areas of the US and Mexico. It is a very rare vagrant to the British Isles, with just two records so far.Its range has expanded to the far east possibly due to plantings of maples Manitoba maples and shrubs around farms and the availability of bird feeders in winter. The migration of this bird is variable; in some winters, it may wander as far south as the southern U.S.


These birds forage in trees and bushes, sometimes on the ground. They mainly eat seeds, berries, and insects. Outside of the nesting season they often feed in flocks. Sometimes, they will swallow fine gravel.


The nest is built on a horizontal branch or in a fork of a tree.