Family Finches (Fringillidae)


Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina)


French: Gros-bec errant German: Abendkernbeißer Spanish: Picogordo vespertino

Fringilla vespertina

W. Cooper

, 1825,

Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, USA


Geographical variation slight. Other proposed races in USA are relatively shorter-billed californica (described from Crane Flat, in Yosemite National Park, in E California) and narrow-billed warreni (from Bear Creek, near Colorado Springs, in C Colorado), both slightly paler than, but synonymized with, brooksi; some vocal differences apparent, however, and further research required. In Mexico, proposed race mexicana (from Las Vigas, in Veracruz) considered inseparable from montana. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. v. brooksi Grinnell, 1917 – W Canada (E & S British Columbia) and W USA (S to NW & EC California, and from W Montana and W Wyoming S to C Colorado, also C Arizona and CS New Mexico); winters to SW USA (S California E to SW Texas).
  • H. v. vespertina (W. Cooper, 1825) – C & E Canada (Alberta E to S Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) and NE USA (NE Minnesota E to Maine); winters throughout C & E USA S to Texas and Georgia, occasionally N Florida.
  • H. v. montana Ridgway, 1874 – extreme SW USA (SE Arizona) and interior W & S Mexico (Sierra Madre Occidental from W Chihuahua S to W Durango and central Transvolcanic Belt from Michoacán E to W Veracruz and NW Oaxaca).
  • Descriptive notes

    18–21·5 cm; 51·1–71·7 g (Pennsylvania). Large, large-billed, plump grosbeak with short, slightly notched tail. Male nominate race has... read more


    Song a rambling or erratic series of uneven musical warbling notes, usually concluding with short... read more


    Breeds in mature conifer woods of fir (Abies) and spruce (Picea), also mixed... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly seeds of trees, shrubs and other plants; also some insects and larvae. Seeds, buds and flowers include those of maple (Acer... read more


    Season Apr–Jul; usually one brood, in Colorado sometimes two. Monogamous; exceptionally polygamous. Pair formation usually takes... read more


    Migratory, altitudinal migrant, nomadic and occasionally irruptive. Diurnal migrant, often moving... read more

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. Common to locally common; until recently was locally abundant, but has undergone rapid and serious decline since last years of 20th century. Prior to 1920s was... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2020). Evening Grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 February 2020).