Pine Grosbeak is normally a bird of the boreal forests of Canada and the
mountain west of the United States. However, when food conditions are
poor in their normal range, they may stage large irruptive migrations well
to the south and east, including to parts of South Dakota. They are
often extremely tame and allow a very close approach.
in open conifer forest during the summer breeding season. Usually, it's
spruce and fir they're found in, not pine (despite the name). In winter,
they can also often be found in deciduous trees, especially trees that produce
Diet: Primarily feeds on plant material, especially the seeds of
conifers and other trees, tree buds, fruits and berries, and occasionally the
seeds of weeds and grasses. They will also eat insects when available
during the summer months.
Behavior: Moves deliberately branches of trees and
shrubs when foraging, often in small flocks.
Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota.
Song: Rich musical
Migration: Primarily a permanent resident throughout much of its range, although birds at
the northern end of its range may move southward in the winter. They do
sometimes make winter 'invasions' well to the south of their normal range if poor
food conditions exist.
Bird Feeders: Will attend feeders for various
seeds, especially sunflower seeds.
Conservation Status: Numbers appear to be stable.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Pine Grosbeak"
Photo Information: June 24th, 2006 - Near Portage Glacier, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Pine Grosbeak photos.