Not all of the northern finches were down here in numbers this winter however, both evening and pine grosbeaks seemed to be missing in the great southern migration.
I did manage to find some pine grosbeaks up in the Sax Zim Bog area but I did not see any on my fist couple of trips up. It wasn't until the end of January that I began to see them and then only in small groups.
Pine grosbeaks live in the boreal forests of Canada, Alaska, and Eurasia where they feed on seeds, buds and fruit. During the winter they will migrate south if their is not enough available food.
During the winter, when food is sometimes scarce, they will find trees that still have fruit and stay near them until all of the fruit is gone. They often get their necessary water by eating snow during the winter time.
Pine grosebeaks are sexually dimorphic, meaning that there is a difference in appearance between the male and the female. The male is a brighter cranberry color, as in the first three pictures above, the female is more of an orange-gold color, as in the last two pics. It is difficult to identify first year males from females, since they are the same color until their second year when they begin to molt in their cranberry colored feathers