Appropriate for the season with the male’s red coloring, pine grosbeaks have shown up in the region in recent weeks. These are not uncommon birds but can be hit-or-miss each year depending on the winter and food supplies to the north, their usual range. This appears to be a good “irruptive” year, as they have been reported in decent numbers throughout the Upper Peninsula in the past month. The female is more muted than the raspberry-decked males, with touches of yellow and green over gray. Though they share a name with Michigan’s other native grosbeaks — the evening and rose-breasted — pine grosbeaks actually are considered to be very large finches, closer kin to the purple finch and crossbills. The yellow and black evening grosbeaks are a large finch as well, but the colorful rose-breasted grosbeak is more allied to the Northern cardinals and tanagers. A number of the more northern bird species have been venturing south this winter, so keep the feeders stocked for luring them in.