SCIENTIFIC NAME: Coccothraustes Vespertinus
Males have dark brown heads, bright yellow bellies and backs, black wings with white wing patches, and short black tails. They also have yellow across their brows like a headlamp.
Females are a duller brownish-gray with dark heads and have black wings with white patches as well as yellow bellies.
Juveniles closely resemble females.
BILL: thick yellowish-green, cone-shaped bill.
SIZE: medium-large songbird, ranges in length from 6.3 - 8.7 inches, with a wingspan of 12 - 14 inches.
WEIGHT: males weigh about 38.7 - 86.1 grams, while females weigh from 43.2 - 73.5 grams.
COLOR: dark-brown, bright yellow, black, white, brownish-gray and yellow.
A wide variety of small fruits and seeds, mainly sunflower seeds and maples sap, also feeds on insects and invertebrates, buds, spruce budworms larvae, and pupae.
They are very sociable, forming large flocks in winter, up to 100 to 300 individuals. They have a specific manner of eating sunflower seeds, after cracking the seed, it scoops it out with its large tongue and swallows it directly. They feed in the treetop on the seeds of the sugar maple and eat buds with other birds.
They are bad singers, their voice consists of a single screaming note when they try to sing which is a single warbling call. Their call is a ringing “chirp” or “cleer”, and a loud “cleep” call, used by each bird to proclaim its place in a flock. They are noisy birds with numerous calls.
NEST: The female builds a shallow loose cup nest, made of small twigs, and lined with grass, rootlets, moss, or fibrous bark and horse hair. It is built on a horizontal branch or in a vertical fork of a tree.
EGGS: 3 -4 pale greenish eggs, lightly spotted with pale brown.
INCUBATION: 12 - 14 days, female fed by the male during this period.
FLEDGLING AGE: 13 - 14 days
Thick conifer and spruce forests, mixed deciduous woodlands, breeds in conifer or mixed forests, but winters in deciduous woodlands, suburban areas, and semi-open countries.
Southern Canada into Northern California and as far east as New Hampshire. Year-round, in Canada and the Northern portions of the United States like the Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes. Winters throughout the United States except for Florida.