Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pine Grosbeak

Over the weekend, aside from these Pine Grosbeaks, Erika and I saw very few birds in northern Minnesota’s Zax-Sim Bog, usually an excellent place to list a variety of otherwise hard to find species.

Pine Grosbeaks breed across Canada, south through the Rocky Mountains. Typically unwary, three female grosbeaks fed on roadside berry bushes and on gravel in the middle of our snowy road. These grosbeaks irrupt into the eastern United States, but less frequently than other winter finches, and seldom reach as far south. Rocky Mountain populations do not wander more than a few miles from their breeding habitat (Adkisson 1999).

Although Pine Grosbeaks might be expected, during exceptional flights, to reach southern Minnesota, Erika and I have not seen them in Northfield. We have seen them previously in the bog, and, over the years, I have banded a few in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

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