Pine Grosbeak

First visit:
10 May 2020
Last seen:
24 May 2020
The pine grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator) is a large member of the true finch family, Fringillidae. It is found in coniferous woods across Alaska, the western mountains of the United States, Canada, and in subarctic Fennoscandia and Siberia. Adults have a long forked black tail, black wings with white wing bars and a large bill. Adult males have a rose-red head, back and rump. Adult females are olive-yellow on the head and rump and grey on the back and underparts. Young birds have a less contrasting plumage overall, appearing shaggy when they moult their colored head plumage. The species is a frugivore, especially in winter, favoring small fruits, such as rowans (mountain-ashes in the New World). With fruit-crop abundance varying from year to year, pine grosbeak is one of many subarctic-resident bird species that exhibit irruptive behavior. In irruption years, individuals can move long distances in search of suitable food supplies, bringing them farther south and/or downslope than is typical of years with large fruit crops.

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