[order] Passeriformes | [family] Fringillidae | [latin] Pinicola enucleator | [UK] Pine Grosbeak | [FR] Durbec des sapins | [DE] Hakengimpel | [ES] Camachuelo picogrueso | [IT] Ciuffolottto delle pinete | [NL] Haakbek

Haakbek determination

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Males are mostly red with gray underparts, black wings, and two white wing-bars. Females are mostly gray with some yellow on their heads and backs. Their wings are black with white wing-bars similar to the males. Both sexes have black tails, and their bills are short and conical. First-year males typically have rusty heads and rumps, but are not as red overall as mature males.

Pine Grosbeaks breed in sub-arctic and boreal conifer forests. They generally breed in wet areas or other openings near the tree line. Their non-breeding habitat is determined by available food, but often contains mountain ash, ash, maple, and other broadleaved trees.

Pinicola enucleator is a widespread resident in the boreal zone of Fennoscandia and Russia, with Europe accounting for less than a quarter of its global range. Its European breeding population is relatively large (>110,000 pairs), and was stable between 1970-1990. Although the species underwent a substantial decline in Finland during 1990-2000, and the trend of the stronghold population in Russia was unknown, there was no evidence to suggest that the species declined overall.
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.

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.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 10,000,000 km. It has a large global population estimated to be 4,400,000 individuals (Rich et al. 2003). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

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.

Some populations migratory, most resident and eruptive. In northern Europe, some birds remain in breeding areas all year, but most move short distance south or south-west; data from northern Fenno-Scandia and adjoining Kola peninsula (Russia) show that areas north of Arctic Circle are vacated, though birds may overwinter only c. 100 km further south if sufficient food (often rowan) available; depart south August-October, returning February-April. Irruptions into Europe apparently involve chiefly birds from Russia; numbers in central and southern Sweden (where irruptions most marked) too large to be accounted for by northern Scandinavian populations alone, and distribution of records suggests arrival from east. Birds reach central and western Europe only in exceptional years. Recent major irruptions have been in 1954, 1956, 1976, and 1989. 10 British records up to 1992, all 30 October to 15 May, in eastern Britain from Kent north to Shetland.