Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Last week I went birding with the Audubon Group and we were treated to a sighting that not only was a new to me bird, but a rare bird to this area too. Lifer number 6 for 2021 is the Pine Grosbeak. This is a female.
This was a “lifer” for about half the group and there were only 9 of us birding that morning. It was quite exciting!
Fun Facts-gleaned from allaboutbirds.org
- Pine Grosbeaks eat a lot of plants, but it can be tough for their nestlings to eat and digest all that vegetation. Instead of feeding plants directly to their nestlings, they regurgitate a paste of insects and vegetable matter that they store in pouches at the lower part of their jaw on either side of their tongues.
- Not all Pine Grosbeaks are the same. Not only do they differ in the amount and intensity of red across their range, they are also different sizes. Body size and wing and tail length generally increase from Newfoundland westward to the Yukon Territory. But birds on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Island) in British Columbia, Canada, and in California are among the smallest of all Pine Grosbeaks. Wings and tails of birds on Haida Gwaii are around a half inch smaller than birds in Alaska.
- Pine Grosbeaks aren’t just in North America. They also breed in subalpine evergreen forests from eastern Asia to Scandinavia.
- The tameness and slow-moving behavior of the Pine Grosbeak prompted locals in Newfoundland to affectionately call it a “mope.”
- Winter flocks may stay near a tree with abundant fruit until all of it is consumed.
- The oldest recorded Pine Grosbeak was a male, and at least 9 years, 9 months old when he was found in Quebec in 1970. He was first captured and banded in Connecticut in 1961.
I hope you all have a wonderful week-end!
Fuji X-T3| Fuji 100-400mm| PS CC 22.4.2
more to come…
35 thoughts on “Friday’s Feathered Friends-Pine Grosbeak”
To get a perfect shot of a rare bird must be thrilling!
Thank you so much, Jennie! It is exciting!
Best to you, Deborah! 😀
It’s beautiful and a nice setting. Great light and composition too.
Thank you so much, Denise! I was so excited to have seen it and got a decent image too. 😀
Thank you, Susan! Your latest paintings of the critters are so cute and remind me of children’s storybook characters.
Thank you Deborah. Maybe one day there will be a story book for children with all my critters. In the meantime I will have fun participating in World Watercolor Month.
Beautiful photo, Deborah! Very exciting too, congratulations 🎉
Thank you so much, Belinda! 😀
Congratulations on your Pine Grosbeak lifer Deborah. It is great you can go out with a birding group and discover new birds. We have missed that due to extended lock-downs and border closures. Thanks also for the interesting facts about the bird.
I’m so thankful we’re doing well here and can do things like this again!
I’m hoping to get to your side of the world when it opens up for birding there one summer soon! Your summer. 😀
That’s great Deborah, hopefully we will achieve some stability next year with the virus 😊
What an exciting sighting, Deborah, and a lovely shot! Congratulations. It’s been a good year for you for lifers it seems. I wouldn’t even know it was rare.
Thank you so much, Janet! Moving has opened up more opportunities to see more birds. I’m loving it. I didn’t realize it was this rare here until I looked at their range map.
Gros is a French word for ‘big,’ so a grosbeak has a big beak.
Oh, wow, Deborah…how precious and exquisite. Most of your photos are a “lifer” to me although realistically only online. It seems like many birds are big on ‘regurgitating’.😀 You have inspired me to be more aware of all birds when I am in nature. Have a great weekend! 💕
Thank you so much, Erica!! And wildflowers right now too! I’m really enjoying those as well as the birds. I picked some lifer wildflowers this morning. 😀
Oh how VERY lucky for you and your Audubon Group to come upon this pine grosbeak, Deborah. Their range is mostly in Canada, which is where I always assumed I would have to go to see one. I have never seen this species, and am so very glad you had this fortune and could even get a great photograph too. Judging by the range map at allaboutbirds, I see they are year-round in the CA Central Valley. What a surprise. I am guessing that’s where you saw it. yay.
Thank you so much, Jet!! This was such a treat to see this Grosbeak. I was in Nevada! Not too far from Incline Village. How cool is that!!
It is really cool. I told Athena about it, too. Thanks for letting me know where you spotted her, Deborah.
You’re welcome! This was a gift too, seeing this one.
Great information, Deborah. An amazing bird, and the nine-year span is quite long. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much, John! I hope I see the male one day too maybe the odds of that happening are better since they live a long time. 😀
Best wishes on that.
Thank you! 😀
Oh I do love a bird whose nickname is “mope.” They live long lives don’t they?
LOL! I laughed when I read that they’re called “mopes”. They do live a long time!
Thank you so much, Ally! 😀
You are on a roll this year with lifers! I love the subtle beauty of this bird, and I appreciate the information. At least we only have to cut our kids’ food for them.
Hahaha. Good point, Dan
Thank you so much, Dan! This year so far has been awesome for seeing new birds.
I am thankful we just cut up our kids food! 😂