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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
Theme(s): Pankaj Bajpai's Favorite Part 2, Alex99 favorite photos, Joe's Favourites 2, Red Birds [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-02-23 9:00
Viewed: 4423
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 68
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
A male Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator 20-25cm)
photographed in the boreal forrest of Montmorency, 70k north of Quebec city.

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.
Similar Species
White-winged Crossbill is smaller, has crossed-tipped bill, shorter tail; females streaked.
Evening Grosbeak is shorter-tailed, more stocky, and has large pale bill.
House Finch is smaller with less prominent wingbars; male with streaked sides.
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.
Seeds, buds, fruit, some insects.
Eats fruits by biting through and discarding the pulp and crushing the seed. Insects caught by clumsy flycatching. Eats sunflower seeds at feeders in parts of range (rarely comes to feeders in other parts of range).
Other Behavior
Found in flocks in winter; strongly territorial in breeding season. Distinctive call note often given in flight.
Nest Type
Open cup nest in tree
Egg Description
Pale blue with darker dots and markings
Clutch Size
Usually 3-4 eggs. Range: 2-5.
Condition at Hatching
Naked and helpless.
Conservation Status
Status largely unknown because of difficulty of assessing populations.
Other Names
Durbec des sapins (French)
Camachuelo picogrueso (Spanish)

goldyrs, Miss_Piggy, NinaM, uleko, nglen, jaycee, Arjun, eqshannon, Luis52, CeltickRanger, angela926, crs, fiyo, Jamesp, gerbilratz, Alex99, boreocypriensis, Ena, JPlumb, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

I simply love the clarity, colours and presentation of this shot!!A perfect shot, really!!!Excellent work!TFS!!

Hallo Mario
Wonderful colours, excellent sharpness and splendid details. Beautiful and harmonious composition. The technical quality of this shot of this Pine Grosbeak is extraordinary I like the way of the pose showing its profile and the back of the plumage. The background displays well on this photo. Lovely presentation. Thanks for sharing.
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-02-23 9:10]

Mario, what a fantastic shot of this pine Grosbeak! Superbe photo, quelle est belle. Le gris du plumage de l'oiseau se confond à l'arrière-plan et le rouge est semblable aux petites pousses de la branche. C'est une magnifique photo Mario, tu es un grand photographe! Merci!


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-02-23 9:21]

Hello Mario,
What a splendid capture of this Grosbeak in fine pink colours that stand out against the snowy background. I like its pose too on the thin spruce branches. Excellent sharpness and a beautiful composition.
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-02-23 9:26]

Hi Mario. I must just say a big thanks for yor interesting notes always very good to read.
you have capturedthis one in text book style . first class. fine detail and natural colours. A very nice posein the fir tree. and its head to one side. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-02-23 9:44]

Hi Mario,

A wonderful shot of this Grosbeak showing off his face, wings and plummage. I love his expression - he looks deep in thought. Excellent colors and details. This is another bird I would love to see in real life. Guess I have to go back to Canada - but not in the winter.


  • Great 
  • Arjun Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 358 W: 7 N: 1237] (7593)
  • [2008-02-23 9:48]

hi mario,
great picture with lovely colours in it.The plumage is very nicely shownThe quality in this picture is amazing

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-02-23 10:23]

Hi Mario
this is very nice composition
very good sharp and detail
very well done.

  • Great 
  • rdfoto Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 372 W: 0 N: 719] (3295)
  • [2008-02-23 10:59]

Salut Mario
Un sacré doigté ! Superbe prise, attitude, composition, couleurs et netteté. Félicitations
Amicalement Robi

Hello Mario
This is sharp enough to shave with!!
The doleful pose is spot on with the wintry bg..The colours etc are all spot on.
Great Work and tfs

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2008-02-23 11:54]

Beautiful bird!
Another wonderful bird's portrait on your page. Great detatil and perfect focus, wonderful colors, very good DOF and composition

  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
  • [2008-02-23 12:06]

Hi Mario,

Its such a pity that we don't have these birds in Holland. I'm a bit jealous I hope you don't mind. This shot is very clear and sharp and the pose is superb. The combination of red, black and grey is so fantastic.Incredible capture.


Hello Mario,

absolutely great shot! Perfect!


Great color, clarity and POV over an OOF BG. As if the bird was turning around to pose for you :) Overall a great composition.


Fantastic bird but more important is the boreal forest..some feel this high latitude forest is even more important in ways than the Amazon Rainforest...and it certainly is larger. the tree made a perfect perch for the bird. Super shot and enlightening notes!

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-02-23 13:42]

Hola Mario.
Una foto de exelente calidad. hermosa pose, finos colores y gran nitidez.
Saludos Mario.

Ah mon cher ami, quel délice de voir tes oeuvres, celle ci est particulière, elle me fait penser à une aquarelle avec ses magnifiques couleurs bien détachées du background
Encore une fois je ne peux dire que bravo

  • Great 
  • lizzie Gold Star Critiquer [C: 207 W: 0 N: 605] (2855)
  • [2008-02-23 15:14]

Bonjour Mario,

Une très belle présentation, j'aime bien la pose du durbec sur cette image, on peut l'apprécier sous un bel angle avec d'excellents détails dans le plumage, de belles couleurs vives et une lumière parfaite.


nice clarity, beautiful colors and excellent sharpness.wonderful capture!

salut Mario

très belle photo, jolie pose de l'oiseau, j'aimes bien le POV et le cadrage
de l'image, il y a une belle luminosité dans l'image, excellent DOF,
excellent netteté et détails du plumage, TFS


hello mario,
excellent work,
i liked the almost monotonus bg and the so colourful bird, good details of the plumage and beautiful composition,
well done,
tfs & regards

Hello Mario,
another one from your excellent works of bird!
the sharpness is just awesome with perfect colouration and details
well done always

Hello Mario,
Fantastic capture,excellent sharpness and depth of field, superb colors and details, great pose.

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-02-23 22:06]

Hi Mario,

Excelent photo with the usual great sharpness and clear details of the bird. Astonishing nicecolors and also your usual special light management.

Thank you for sharing,

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2008-02-23 23:24]

Hello Mario,
Very nice capture with perfect POV. Colors are very natural and the composition is very good.TFS

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-02-23 23:32]

Hi Mario

Great POV with excellent detail and colour.


  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-02-24 3:37]

A really and truly stunning shot Mario!
The colours are so beautiful!
The amount of detail is incredible as is the clarity.
Excellent composition POV and pose.
Superb lighting.
Straight into my favourites.

Stupendous work.


Hello Mario, Stunning colours and great detail, the poise and pose of this bird is first rate....great work!!!

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-02-24 5:45]

Hi Mario.
Unlimited series of outstanding bird pictures. This one is intermediate point, amazing point. Reproduction of all even tiniest details of the scene impress the imagination. It is fantastic. All is superb: exposure (despite the contest subject), vibrant colours (in spite of soft light), sharpness and details of the bird and twig, and composition of the picture. My congratulations and many thanks.

Hello Mario

What a lovely male Pine Grosbeak with nice colours which I have not seen before friend! Excellen capture with fine details, good sharpnes and beautiful colors. Superp. composition!
TFS and regards,


Bonjor Mario,
IL est vraiment magnifique ce dur bec le POV est superbe, les couleurs et détails sont comme toujours excellents, la composition aussi est excellente.

  • Great 
  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2008-02-25 0:43]

Hello Mario,
Nice capture of this bird!
Good sharpness and lovely details of the feathers!
Well composed!

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-02-25 8:17]

Hello Mario,
The quality of this image is exceptional and the pose and POV taken to capture this male Pine Grosbeak is hard to improve. This,together with the fine composition makes me want to take this image as a favorite and I thank you for sharing it!

  • Great 
  • JPlumb Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
  • [2008-02-25 21:51]

Hi Mario, I have never seen one of these Pine Grosbeaks, though I think everyone else in Quebec and Ontario have. I am obviously looking in the wrong areas. This one of yours is awesome with excellent colour and detail. I especially like the blending of the colour in that plumage. Very nice clear pose.

Thanks, John

Bonjour Marion,

Ce Durbec des sapins sur la branche semble figer sur place. Les détails et les couleurs de l'oiseau sont clairs et précis. Le sujet est bien cadré. La lumière rehausse les couleurs. Bonne journée.


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