PINE GROSBEAK

PINE GROSBEAK (Pinicola enucleator) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The adult male Pine Grosbeak has a rosy-red head and back, whereas in the adult female that red is replaced by yellow. Wings are black with white wing bars. The under parts in the female are grey and reddish in the male, with some grey toward the tail. The tail is black and forked. The bill, legs and feet are dark grey. The upper mandible is slightly longer than the lower and ends with a small hook. Bird is about 25 cm (10 inches) long.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Pinicola-enucleator
NAME: English name ‘Pine’ (and Latin genus name ‘pinicola’) refers to habitat and diet, and ‘Grosbeak’ to the large conical bill. Latin species name ‘enucleator’ means ‘one who shells out’.
HABITAT: Coniferous forests (hence the name).
DIET: Seeds (such as pine) and berries.
NESTING: Nest placed on horizontal conifer branch. Around four blue-green eggs are laid, incubated by female. Chicks fed by both parents.
DISTRIBUTION: Year-round resident of boreal forests and taiga around northern hemisphere including Japan. When food scarce may ‘irrupt’ south of that range.
Distribution map: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_grosbeak#/media/File:Pinicola_enucleator-Map.png
ON PEI: Breeds on Prince Edward Island but rare.
CONSERVATION: Numbers have declined but are still around 4 million globally, currently not listed as ‘at risk’.
SIMILAR SPECIES: White-winged Crossbill, Red Crossbill
NOTES: The pine grosbeak is part of the Finch family. In times of food scarcity, the species can ‘irrupt’ in large groups in search of food outside their usual areas.
REFERENCES: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/pine-grosbeak
https://www.mba-aom.ca/jsp/toc.jsp (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
https://identify.whatbird.com/obj/317/overview/Pine_Grosbeak.aspx
https://www.nps.gov/romo/learn/nature/pine_grosbeak.htm (National Parks Service, Rocky Mountains)
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Pine_Grosbeak/id
http://fieldguide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=ABPBY03010 (Montana Field Guide)

Female Pine Grosbeak with holly berry - Winsloe South, PEI - Mar. 12, 2012 - by Don Jardine
Female Pine Grosbeak with holly berry – Winsloe South, PEI – Mar. 12, 2012 – by Don Jardine
Pine grosbeak, male - Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, QC - photo by Cephas
Pine grosbeak, male – Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, QC – photo by Cephas

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