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Pine Grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak
Photo Information
Copyright: Mario Belanger (EOSF1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-02-20
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 100-400 F4-5.6 L IS USM, ISO 200, B+W 77 010 UV-Haze 1 x
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/250 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-10-25 10:21
Viewed: 4660
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 52
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
Shot last winter, a picture of a male Pine Grosbeak.

From: www.birds.cornell.edu
One of the larger members of its family, the Pine Grosbeak is a bird of the boreal forests, found across northern Eurasia and North America, and south into the mountains of western Canada and the United States. A large, unwary finch, it makes periodic winter irruptions into southern Canada and northern United States. It is the largest and rarest of the "winter finches."
Cool Facts
The tameness and slow-moving behavior of the Pine Grosbeak gave rise to local name in Newfoundland of "mope."
Winter flocks may stay near a tree with abundant fruit until all of it is consumed.
Winter irruptions are infrequent and irregular. To see an illustration of the invasion of the winter 1997-98, based on data gathered through BirdSource's Winter Finch Survey, click here.
A breeding adult Pine Grosbeak develops pouches in the floor of its mouth for carrying food to its young.
During most of the year, 99% of diet is vegetable matter, especially buds, seeds, and fruits of spruce, pine, juniper, elm, maple, mountain ash, apple, and crabapple. It feeds insects and spiders to its young, though, often mixed with plant foods. It drinks water or eats snow daily.
topSize: 20-25 cm (8-10 in)
Wingspan: 33 cm (13 in)
Large finch; medium-sized songbird.
Plump, heavy-chested.
Dark wings with two white wingbars.
Large stubby curved bill.
Male red.
Blackish-brown tail and wings.
Tail long and slightly forked.
Eyes black.
Bill dark.
Legs dark.
Sex Differences
Sexually dimorphic: Male with rosy-red head, chest and back, rest gray; females with yellow-olive where male has red.
Pinkish-red head, breast, back and rump. Streaked back. White undertail coverts. Blackish brown wings and tail. White wingbars and tertial edges.
Yellowish olive head and rump. Gray underparts and back. Blackish brown wings and tail. White wingbars and tertial edges.
Immature male usually is indistinguishable from immature or adult female until the second year when it molts and grows new reddish feathers. Some young males have some red or orange feathers in the body plumage, which females apparently lack. Females average duller than males (especially on the crown and rump) and have a lighter russet tinge to the head or lighter olive tinge to the breast than males. The color of the head and body is often golden orange or reddish bronze in males, in contrast to golden yellow of the female, and the chin is often buffier or more brown-gray than in the female.
Song is a sequence of clear, warbling, flute-like notes. Flight calls vary geographically, but can sound like "tee-tee-tew," resembling calls of Greater Yellowlegs.
Breeds in subarctic and subalpine coniferous forests of North America and Eurasia.
Winter Range
Winters mainly in breeding range, but may go farther south irregularly to southern Canada and northern United States.
Breeds in open coniferous forests.
Wintering areas determined by food availability, so found in wider variety of habitats, including urban areas.
Found in flocks in winter; strongly territorial in breeding season. Distinctive call note often given in flight.
Conservation Status
Status largely unknown because of difficulty of assessing populations.
Other Names
Durbec des sapins (French)
Camachuelo picogrueso (Spanish)

nglen, siggi, boreocypriensis, Jamesp, jaycee, NinaM, maurydv, crs, meyerd, albert, Alex99, dB_grafix, MMM, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Mario
I can see there was little light when you took this picture and you provided your own perfectly...Captivatingly natural details...As we head into winter in the UK I shall have to use my flash more often and if I get results anywhere near to this I shall have a big grin!!
All the Best

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-10-25 10:38]

Hi Mario. You had a hard winter last year with all that snow let hope its not so bad this year. This was a good close up of the colourful Grosbeak . Which you have taken with fine detail and natural looking colours. I like the pose with it on top of the fir tree. well done tFS. interesting notes too.

  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-10-25 10:44]

Hello Mario,
Excellent photo with great colours and good focus. Very nice BG, composition and POV.

Hi Mario,
A lovely shot of this beutifully coloured male Pine Grosbeak in a fine composition and details from frontal POV.
TFS and greetings from Cyprus my friend!


Gee, that looks like an uncomfortable perch! I just love the color of these birds. It is a lovely image with that toning soft gray textured background.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • pirate Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 799 W: 152 N: 1186] (7474)
  • [2008-10-25 13:18]

Hi Mario
beautiful colors, incredible sharpness and nice bg, just perfect compo, and the fame is nice (so many awful ones on TN)

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-10-25 13:25]

Hi Mario

Lovely shot of this charming Grossbeak - it stands out well in the cold light. Good detail too.


Merhaba Mario,bende senin bu pembe,kırmızı kuşlarına bayılıyorum.O kadar güzeller ki,yani yakın olsa gerçekten gidip göreceğim.Ama senin sayende bu güzellikleri görüyor olmak harika.Kutlarım,süper bir portre,ellerine sağlık :)

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-10-25 14:09]

Hi Mario,

It's in the 90's here so it's nice to see a winter picture. I love the perch of this Grosbeak on the very top of the tree. Nice colors and details against the blurry background.


  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-10-25 14:42]

J'aime cette photo, Mario, avec l'oiseau vraiment au-dessus de tout! Il a de l'allure et est très fier, sa pose sur le bout de la branche semble vraiment lui plaire. Merci, toujours aussi belle, tes photos!


Ciao Mario,
meravigliosa immagine dal tuo archivio invernale a ricordarci che ci stiamo avviando verso questa stagione, in cui la tua galleria si è arricchita di straordinarie immagini come questa, un buon auspicio anche per i prossimi scatti; eccellenti POV, DOF e composizione, stupendi i colori e BG soft come la neve.

Hello Mario,
Extraordinary perch:-)
Beautiful portrait of this Pine grosbeak.
Fascinating background; very moody.
Technically well done.
Thanks for sharing

Hello Mario

A Christmas tree top?
This is a superb capture of a beautiful and colourful bird.
The details are sharp and well focused.
Excellent plumage definition.
The POV and DOF are super.
I even see a little snowflake in there too.


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-10-26 1:37]

Hello Mario,
This Pine Grosbeak was one of your favourites last winter, I think. You made a lot of beautiful photos of this bird. This was one of them. Frontal pose and sharp details are excellent. Splendid wintering colours.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-10-26 2:44]

Hello Mario,
A fine winter portrait of a male Pine Grosbeak from your archives taken from a pleasing frontal POV with excellent sharpness.
This species is very rare in my part of Sweden, but not uncommon 1000 km north of us. Perhaps one day I can photograph it even if not as well as this.
TFS this beauty,

Hi Mario,
the perfect shot! Incredible, how you manage the lighting. And the DOF, and and... I bow respectfully.

Best regards

Bonjour Mario,
Belle capture de ce Durbec dans une pose originale:perché et de face, ce qui n'est pas commun dans tes photos
Tres bon piqué et superbes couleurs
Bon dimanche

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-10-26 9:01]

Hello Mario,

What a fine composition has your photo with the bird sitting on the top of the vertical perch. Image is very sharp keeping the whole bird in focus all plumage details can be easily observed. There are very fine color tones in your image and a prefect match between plumage colors and the background.

Thank you for sharing,

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-10-26 9:40]

Hi Mario.
What a wonderful symmetrical composition of an amazing bird on a cute twig. Quality of the shot is highest and demonstrates your firm style by the best way. Sharpness, details, colours of the twig and bird are great. BG is superb too. Bravo. Perfect in every respect shot.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-10-26 11:26]

Hi Mario,
looking forward to seeing what you come up with this winter! A classic shot from you, overall details and clarity are as impressive as ever. Love the background too, perfect.

Sometimes what makes a great image stand out is not just what you include in your framing of the image but what you DON’T include. this has it all.tfs

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-10-26 15:21]

This is a classic "Mario" shot: Perfectly executed!
Very nice colours.
Excellent sharpness.
Great lighting too.

Brilliant work!


  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2008-10-26 18:40]

What a beautiful bird,with excellent details.
Love the colours..Nice pose and composition.TFS!

The perch you have with this bird sure does a lot for the composition. Very nice image.

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-10-27 4:21]

Salut Mario
Excellente presentation
Comme a lHabiture l'image est parfaitement en focus et le plumage est parfaitement detaiilé.J'aime bien la pause du sujet et j'adore les couleurs .
Merci et a bientot.

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2008-10-27 9:48]

HGi Mario
Very nice image,nothing to critique.
Regards Jiri.

Bonjour Mario,

Ce durbec des sapins sur la branche semble gonfler ses plumes pour se protéger du froid. La prise de vue permet de voir avec précision les détails et les couleurs de l'oiseau. Le sujet est bien cadré. La lumière met en valeur les couleurs. Bonne journée.


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