A male evening grosbeak on a feeder
Plenty of pretty birds flock to our feeders each winter, but during the past decade or so I've wondered why we've seen as many evening grosbeaks as passenger pigeons and dodo birds.
I've since learned I'm not imagining things. Evening-grosbeak numbers have fallen across North America and plunged east of the Mississippi. They aren't extinct, mind you. They just seem that way to most Wisconsinites, who miss seeing the bird that once dominated our feeders as recently as 15 years ago.
The reason for the vanishing act remains a mystery. Although the birding community has documented the evening ...