Monday, December 21, 2015

Pine Grosbeak

On Saturday’s Faribault (and Northfield) Christmas Bird Count, Dave Bartkey and others found a Pine Grosbeak near Cannon City here in Rice County. On Sunday, Gene Bauer reported the bird was still present. Erika and I dove over and photographed the bird. The bird fed along with Cedar Waxwings in an extensive patch of fruiting trees and shrubs.

I have previously blogged about Pine Grosbeaks we found one winter near Duluth. This species breeds in northern Canada, Alaska, and south into the central Rocky Mountains. It is also found from eastern Asia into Scandinavia. Rocky Mountain populations tend to be sedentary. North American Pine Grosbeaks east of the mountains experience periodic irruptive migrations into the United States (Adkisson 1999). They don’t stray as far south as other “winter finches.” I checked in eBird and discovered that, so far this winter, our Rice County record is probably the southern-most record east of the Rockies.

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