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Pine grosbeak

Pinicola enucleator
(Photo from Wikipedia)

Common name:
pine grosbeak (en); pintarroxo-de-bico-grosso (pt); dubec des sapins (fr); camachuelo picogrueso (es); hakengimpel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Fringillidae

These birds are widely distributed in the northern parts of America and Eurasia, being found in Alaska, Canada and the northern United States, as well as Scandinavia, Russia, Mongolia, north-eastern China and northern Japan.

They are 20-25 cm long and have a wingspan of 32-35 cm. They weigh 52-78 g.

During the breeding season pine grosbeaks are found in open sub-Arctic and boreal forests, especially in areas dominated by conifers, but also in mixed forests. Outside the breeding season they are also found in agricultural areas and even within urban areas.

They feed on the seeds, buds and fruits of mountain ash, ash trees, box elder, juniper and spruce, also taking Rowan berries in winter. During the breeding season they hunt insects to feed the nestlings.

Pine grosbeaks breed in May-July. The female builds the nest, a loosely built cup made of twigs and dwarf shrub stems, lined with root fibre, straw, reindeer hair and moss fragments. There she lays 2-5 pale blue eggs with dark-brown, purple and black markings. The eggs are incubated by the female alone for 13-14 days, while the male provides her food. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 13-14 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and a global population estimated at over 4 million individuals. The population in North America has undergone a large decline of over 25% per decade over the last 4 decades, but the species is not considered threatened at present.

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