Fun Facts about Pine Grosbeaks


Pine Grosbeaks are part of the finch family, although they are more plump and heavy chested

Their heads are round with a bill that is thick and conical, but shorter than other finch species.

Tails of the Pine Grosbeak are long, with a slight notch

The color pattern of the male Pine Grosbeak is reddish pink and gray

Interestingly, females and young Pine Grosbeaks are grayish in color tone with reddish orange tints or yellow on their heads and rumps

Both the males, females and the young have dark gray wings with two wing bars

Coloration varies from bird to bird and from region to region


Males, and sometimes females sing using a clear flute like warble

Their "warble" song rises and falls for around 2-5 seconds

The song of the Pine Grosbeak is made of several notes that they change on occasion

Sometimes they imitate the songs of other birds

During mating season, males sing a warbling song


Pine Grosbeaks sluggishly hop from branch to branch, nipping off fresh buds and needles, as well as on the ground, grabbing fallen seeds

During the winter months, they form small groups that travel together, searching for seeds and fruits

Sometimes, during the winter, they move, or irrupt farther south in their search for food


The habitat of the Pine Grosbeak is open spruce, fir, and pine forests at higher elevations

Pine Grosbeaks can also be found in sub-alpine forests

During the winter, Pine Grosbeaks favor mountain ash, maple, and ash forests, where there are plentiful seeds


Almost the entire diet of the Pine Grosbeak is made up of buds, seeds, and fruits from spruce, pine, juniper, birch, mountain ash, maple, box elder, crab apple, blackberry, ragweed, and burdock

Although they are primarily vegetarian, they will catch insects and spider during the summer months

During the winter, Pine Grosbeaks will eat dirt and grit along the side of the road, in addition to their regular diet

They will also drink water or eat snow on a daily basis


Pine Grosbeaks breed in open spruce, fir and pine forests 

They will often place their nest close to the trunk, so that it remains hidden in the dense vegetation

Nest placement is between six to 16 feet off the ground

The female will build a foundation of evergreen twigs that she weaves roots and small twigs into

The cup of the nest is made with rootlets, twigs, and grass that is lined with lichen, evergreen needles, soft grasses, and feathers

Nest size: 6-9" across, 3-4"deep on the outside, with an inner cup that is approximately 2.5-3" in diameter

Clutch size:  3-4 eggs

Incubation period: 13-14 days

Nestling period:  13-20 days

Egg Description:  Pale blue with darker dots and markings


During the winter months, Pine Grosbeaks will frequent feeders

Since they are larger, use a large tube feeder, platform feeder, or large hopper and fill it with black oil sunflower seeds or hulled sunflower seeds.


The Pine Grosbeak eats a lot of plants; however, it is challenging for nestlings to digest the greens, so the adult will regurgitate a paste of insects and vegetables that they have stored in pouches located on either side of their tongues, at the lower part of their jaw

Pine Grosbeaks can be found from Asia to Scandinavia

The people of Newfoundland call Pine Grosbeaks a "mope", because of their slow moving behavior