Evening and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks

October 26, 2011


This fall, I've worked on several of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks in the Field Museum lab. I've only seen a grosbeak once in the field, and it was a beautiful male Rose-breasted at my backyard feeder. I'm pretty sure I have never seen an Evening in the field. Even though these two species share the name of "grosbeak" and certainly share some similar physical traits, they belong to two different families. Rose-breasted belongs to the Cardinalidae family, and Evening to Fringillidae. Cardinalidae includes the ubiquitous Northern Cardinals. The species of Fringillidae, on the other hand, are considered true finches and include species like the lovely Chaffinch. Rose-breasted are known for their very melodic, robin-like songs, while Evening Grosbeaks are more quiet and secretive; even during courtship.

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