Flashes of Red

Posted By Wolf Ridge Naturalist
February 11, 2014

This past week, sightings of the beautiful Pine Grosbeak have been reported near the West Dorm bird feeders.


This bird is a large member of the true finch family and is found in coniferous woods across Alaska, the western mountains of the United States, Canada, and in subarctic Fennoscandia and Siberia.  Pine grosbeaks in parts of North America move southward during the winter, bringing them as far south as the upper Midwest and New England in the United States.  Adult males have a rose-red head, back and rump, while adult females have olive-yellow heads and rumps with grey on the back and under parts of their bodies.  Also characteristic of adult birds are a long forked black tail, black wings with white wing bars and a large bill.  For food, Pine Grosbeaks forage in trees and bushes for seeds, buds, berries, and insects.  Pine Grosbeaks are commonly permanent residents in the range in which they live, however, when food sources are scarce or in the extreme north, they may migrate further south.

Happy birding everyone and be sure to keep an eye out for the largest and rarest of the “winter finches!”

By Kristen Reich