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Pine Grosbeak


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Pine Grosbeak

The Pine Grosbeak is the largest and least common finch found in North America. It is often referred to as "slow-moving" and frequently allows humans to approach fairly close to it before it flies away. This behavior gives observers an excellent opportunity to get a good, long look at the bird. The Pine Grosbeak is generally territorial during the breeding season but is sometimes seen with Bohemian Waxwing flocks.

Interesting Facts:
Family: Fringillidae
Scientific Name: Pinicola enucleator
Location: This species can be found across northern Europe, Asia, and North America, and south into the mountains of western Canada and the United States. Habitat ranges from summers in coniferous woods to winters near fruit and seed trees.
Migration: Depending on food availability and species population, the Pine Grosbeak may migrate south or move into urban areas when northern food sources become scarce. However, this behavior is quite uncommon.
Nesting: Pine Grosbeaks construct a cup-style nest of mosses, twigs, and grasses, lined with a soft material like lichens or fur. Nests are usually located in a shrub or tree. A typical Pine Grosbeak lays 2-5 pale blue eggs with dark markings on them.
Diet: In nature, the Pine Grosbeak feeds on seeds, nuts, buds, fruits and some insects.
Size and Color: The largest finch species, the Pine Grosbeak is approximately 9" in size. The male has bright red plumage on his head, breast, back, and rump with a gray belly and black wings. Two wingbars are present. The female is similar to the male but has a yellow-olive-colored head and rump instead of red. Both have a short and stout black bill. Immature males closely resemble the female coloring and maintain this plumage for one year.
Song: A musical warble of flute-like "tee tee tew" notes.
Attracting: The Pine Grosbeak can sometimes be seen feeding from seed feeders in its range. To attract this species, place a tube style feeder filled with sunflower seeds in your yard.
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