Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pine Grosbeak Sax Zim 1-24

This winter was a good winter so see northern finches here in Minnesota. We had large irruptions of several species, including redpolls, pine siskins and white-winged cross bills that went further south and had larger numbers then usual.
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


i beati said...

what splendid colors loved these shots Sandy

Arlene said...

Cute birdies! Nice to know that they still have food to eat even it was winter time.

Happy Critters Anniversary!

Wonder Turquette said...

Thank you for these beautiful photos! I’ve started to observe birds recently and there are lots of things I don’t know. Female pine grospeak is more beautiful than the male to my eyes but I suppose the male has a more brilliant colour when he wants to seduce a female, is it? I’ll make a search on the net to see whether these birds live also in my country.

Best regards,

Chris said...

Lovely shots of very nice bird. I love the series on the snow, probably not that easy to take. Congrats.

Babooshka said...

If only we had anything so exotic. I can safely say another bird that is not here and never will be. Thanks for yet another beautiful bird.

Dianne said...

I love their little red fronts, especially the texture

2sweetnsaxy said...

Beautiful shots, these and the ones of the swan below.

Misty Dawn said...

Oh my gosh - your photos are always exceptional, and these are absolutely gorgeous!