Pinicola enucleator Linnaeus, 1758. Two subspecies are recognized.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Pine rosefinch; French: Durbec des sapins; German: Hakengimpel; Spanish: Camachuelo Picogrueso.
The pine grosbeak is a large, stout-bodied finch with a body length of about 7.9 in (20 cm) and weighing about 2 oz (57 g). It has a short, slightly forked tail and a short, stout, conical beak. The male is colored overall red, with black wings with white wing-bars, a dark tail, and grayish patches on the belly. The female has a yellowish olive head and rump, and gray underparts and back. Juveniles resemble adult females, but are duller with washes of dull yellow on the head, back, and rump.
The pine grosbeak is an extremely widespread species that inhabits the boreal forest and montane forest regions of both North America and Eurasia. It occurs from coast to coast in suitable habitats on both continents. Pine grosbeaks sporadically irrupt from their usual wintering regions and may then be abundant in areas where they are not commonly seen.
The pine grosbeak breeds in conifer forest in both the northern boreal region and in montane areas in the Rocky Mountains. During the winter they occur more widely in various kinds of forest.
The pine grosbeak is a rather tame species. It is a social bird that often occurs in flocks during the non-breeding season. The territorial song is a series of warbled notes. There is also a variety of simple, high-pitched chirps, often given in flight. Males feed females as part of the courtship ritual.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
The pine grosbeak feeds on seeds and small fruits of various kinds. They also eat buds and insects, and mostly forage in trees and shrubs.
Breeding pairs are monogamous and solitary. The female builds a cup-shaped nest of twigs, plant fibers, and rootlets, lined with moss, lichen, fine grass, and rootlets. It is located on the limb of a tree or shrub about 2–25 ft (0.6–7.6 m) above the ground. Two to five blue-green eggs dotted with black, purple, and brown are incubated by the female for 13–15 days. The altricial young are brooded by the female, fed by both parents, and fledge in 13–20 days. Like many finches, both males and females develop gular pouches during the nesting season to carry food to their young. One brood per year.
Not threatened. The pine grosbeak is a widespread and abundant species, but it is vulnerable to habitat loss due to logging.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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