Pine grosbeak

Betsy Bloom/Daily News Photo

Betsy Bloom/Daily News Photo

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.

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