Animals / Birds

Pine grosbeak


Щур (ру.)

Hakengimpel (de.)

Camachuelo picogrueso (es.)


Order — Passeriformes.

Family — Fringillidae.

Genus — Pinicola.

Species — Pinicola enucleator.


During the breeding season the pine grosbeak is usually found in open sub-Arctic and boreal forests where there is an abundance of coniferous trees, although it is also known to inhabit mixed forests. During the winter, the pine grosbeak uses a wider variety of habitats, including urban areas.

Внешний вид

Length: 20-25 cm.

Wingspan: 33 cm.

Weight: 53-78 g.

The pine grosbeak is a large, plump, heavy-chested bird, which differs in appearance between sexes.


Plumage of the male is deep rose-pink on the head, neck, breast and rump, grey on each side of the body, and streaked black on the upperparts..

Throat is grey or white and there are also white or grey patches underneath the eyes.

Long tail is notched black-brown with a grey underside.

Wings are brown-black with conspicuous white wingbars.

The tips of some of the flight feathers are white.

The distinctive bill of the pine grosbeak is dark grey or black in both sexes and is large, stubby and conical, with the upper mandible overlapping the lower.

The eyes are cinnamon or dark brown.

Legs, toes and claws are dark brown, or occasionally grey-horn.

Females and juveniles:

The female pine grosbeak is smaller than the male and is equally as distinctive.

The head and rump of the female are yellow-olive to red-bronze.

The rest of the body is uniformly grey.

The juvenile pine grosbeak is almost indistinguishable from the adult female until its second year of life, although it is slightly duller and greyer.

Occasionally young males have red or orange feathers within their plumage, which are not present in the female.


During the breeding season, Pine Grosbeaks are typically found in pairs, but form larger flocks the rest of the year. They forage on the ground, in trees, shrubs, and in the air. They are attracted to 'Pygmy-Owl tooting,' a common practice of birders used to imitate a Pygmy-Owl and attract birds. They often allow very close approach by humans, but may be missed because they will sit motionless.


Grosbeaks feed on buds, fruits, berries and seeds.  They mainly forage in the trees, though they will sometimes pick fallen seeds and berries from the ground.  During the summer, about 15% of their diet is made up of insects.  They also visit bird feeders during the winter. Although the pine grosbeak does not truly migrate, it moves through its range in response to food availability.


The clear, flute-like song of the pine grosbeak is used during courtship, to maintain pair bonds and for the defence of a territory. This bird is also able to mimic the vocalisations of other species. 


Listlessness, Regurgitation, Dyspnea, Weight Loss, Diarrhea, Coughing, Wheezing, Syncope: Iron Storage Disease and related entities - excessive accumulation of iron in the liver. Most of the affected birds with acute signs die.

Weightloss, Glucosuria, Hyperclyemia, Polyuria (excessive urination), Polydipsia: Idiopathic diabetes mellitus - probably dietary related.


Pine Grosbeaks are generally monogamous, and form pairs before they arrive on the breeding grounds. The nest is typically located in dense foliage on a horizontal branch near the trunk of a tree, or in a vertical fork. The female builds the nest, which is a bulky, open cup of twigs and rootlets, lined with fine grass, moss, rootlets, and lichen. She incubates 3 to 4 eggs for 13 to 14 days. The male brings food to the female on the nest. Both members of the pair feed the young, which leave the nest after about 15 days. The young can fly well within a few days of hatching, but continue to beg for food from their parents for some time after fledging. Pairs generally raise one brood each season.

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