Male Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus)
Originally uploaded by woodcreeper.
This trip was steeped in significance for me; as I’m sure it was for everyone, albeit for different personal reasons. I saw my first (12) evening grosbeaks in 1996, eating from the feeders at the house of my professor during our field ornithology course. I can remember the event as if it were yesterday, which is significant when you consider how few of the others from that semester I can actually recall. Little did I know that evening grosbeak would be a bird I would wait over 10 years to see again. But how? They were absolutely abundant and pigging out! Surely as long as you put out seed- these birds would be there. I knew so little.
Our first encounter with an Evening Grosbeak was at the Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail (actually, it was in the parking lot of the aforementioned trail). We had just arrived to the boardwalk, gotten all bundled up, rolled out of the minivan, and there- in the tree- calling. There it was, a female evening grosbeak. I fumbled for my binoculars, then my microphone, I needed to capture the bird in any way I could. I’m sure I looked silly, and the bird flew off. Moments later ,though, a gorgeous male flew in and serenaded us again. This time I was able to capture his sound and get a good look. What a handsome bird that is!
I could go on and on and bore you to death with the details of the trip- but instead I’d rather let you experience some of it for yourself. Here’s a little playlist of some of the sounds we heard, from the Evening Grosbeaks to the Red and White-winged Crossbills, to the more familiar song of the Pine Siskin, and finally some of the natural soundscapes and a really cool encounter with a bull Moose and family.
This trip could not have been as wonderful as it was, had it not been for the hospitality of The Ellis’s who put us up (and put up with us) on Thursday and Saturday night. They really are the coolest folks on earth. For more photos from our trip go ahead and click on the Evening Grosbeak above. You can get more of the scenery shots on Inga’s flickr site by clicking here, and Sandra has also posted some on her site here. If you have any questions regarding the trip, photos, or recordings, feel free to leave a comment on this thread or email me directly.