It’s that time of the year when the Pine Grosbeaks start heading back up north to their breeding grounds in Canada.
The past few years that I have been watching the Pine Grosbeaks, it seems like the handsome red males leave first, leaving behind the females. If the Pineys are like a lot of birds, the males will arrive on their breeding grounds long before the females. This will give the males that arrive first the best territory, which they defend against other males.
It seems like the Pine Grosbeaks leave Crane Lake around the 15th of March. I’m keeping track; this morning, on the 11th, there were 2 females at the feeders.
The scientific name, Pinicola enucleator: Pinicola, one who inhabits pines and, enucleator : one who ‘shells out’ from the bird’s way of husking the pine seeds.