The Evening Grosbeak breeds in open, mature conifer-dominated forests. It is a nomadic species whose movements are driven by a variable food supply. Evening Grosbeaks will move around as the food supply changes and are found in areas with abundant seeds or insects to eat.
In winter, Evening Grosbeaks eat seeds and are found in areas where seed-crops, such as pine and spruce, are high. Evening Grosbeaks are familiar visitors at bird feeders. With its enormous bill, the Evening Grosbeak can crack seeds that are too large for smaller birds to open. Smaller birds sometimes seek out Evening Grosbeaks to eat the scraps they leave behind.
In summer, Evening Grosbeaks eat insects - especially Spruce Budworm, a native insect responsible for significant damage to forests across Canada. The Spruce Budworm has a natural cycle of periodic outbreaks that can attract large numbers of Evening Grosbeaks to an area. The Evening Grosbeak can act as natural pest control for the Spruce Budworm.