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Your Turn: Evening Grosbeaks

Have you seen the Photo Salon in the May issue of Birding yet? What fantastic images from wonderfully talented bird photographers and what a great showcase for the ABA's 2012 Bird of the Year.

At the end of the article, Birding editor Ted Floyd invites us all to share by asking "What's your Evening Grosbeak story?"

My personal eBird records show that I've seen Evening Grosbeaks on only five separate occasions. I remember each experience distinctly. My first sighting was certainly one of those "Wow!" moments. I was with my son and father-in-law at a Father & Sons camp-out near Garden Valley, Idaho. I tend to rise early while camping to enjoy the morning birds while everyone else still slumbers. The hot spring resort there had a well-stocked bird feeder and I started seeing this flock of birds with striking yellow unibrows feeding en masse. I didn't have a field guide on me so I sat there watching until my birding mentor father-in-law joined me and told me what they were. What a thrill!

My favorite Evening Grosbeak experience happened on top of a mountain above Boise, Idaho. It was late November and we were scouting for elk without any luck. A light snow had fallen and the sun was just poking through the clouds. I sat there on my four-wheeler enjoying the idealistic morning setting. Suddenly an enormous flock of Evening Grosbeaks came whirling around me, similar to a murmuration of starlings. The in-flight kinetic sculpture dazzled me for several minutes before the grosbeaks settled into a pine tree for breakfast. Breathtaking.

I hope you'll join me in adding to our collective Evening Grosbeak repertoire this weekend with The Evenging Grosbeak Weekend-Out.

That's my story. What's yours?! Tell us about it here in the comments.

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Robert Mortensen

Robert Mortensen

Robert is most widely known as the host of, a multi-author blog sharing enthusiasm for birds and birding. He is also the ABA's Bird of the Year program coordinator. Robert began birding in the summer of 2004 when his father-in-law handed him a pair of binoculars to go on a Sunday afternoon walk at Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge in Idaho. Birding was an instant addiction. Married to Jessica since 1999, they have four children that keep them hopping. They live in Bountiful, Utah adjacent to spectacular birding at parks and refuges on the eastern shore of the Great Salt Lake. Robert earned his degree in Construction Management from Brigham Young University and somehow fits his construction career around his birding. He is a "well-rounded nerd" who enjoys adventures with his family, serving in his church and Boy Scouts of America, family history, music, and an avid college football fan. Robert plays clarinet and saxophone and enjoys singing too. For question about the Bird of the Year program, you can reach Robert at [email protected]
Robert Mortensen

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