Monday, December 3, 2012

Pine Grosbeaks

To date this fall has been one of the best winter finch incursions that I recall, by December 1st I have seen all the winter finch species one can expect in Central Massachusetts. The only missing species, from my list, is the rare (and problematic to ID) Hoary Redpoll.

Evening Grosbeaks that were once wide spread and abundant in the area during late fall and winter are now difficult to find as their numbers have declined as dramatically as they had increased some 60 years ago. I have heard only one this fall.

Over the past few days I have seen Pine Grosbeaks in a number of locations including Westminster, Lunenburg and Gardner (3 locations) and so far all have been female or immature birds, which is fairly typical. These large and tame winter finches are typically an easy target for photo seekers and I have included a few digi-scope and digi-bin photos below.

female "type" Pine Grosbeak feeding on crab apples in Lunenburg..

...reaching ....

...with target in its bill
My understanding is Pine Grosbeaks target the fruit seeds and often their bills will be covered with fruit pulp, such as the bird below.
This one was at the junction of Rtes 101/140 in Gardner

near Heywood Hospital in Gardner
...and a few few photos of more common species.

Mallard from the Old Mill in Westminster

a European Starling from Gardner

Red Squirrel from Gardner
Cedar Waxwing from Lunenburg

1 comment:

Larry said...

The Pine Grosbeaks are so fun to photograph...if only every species were so easy to get great shots of!