Living Bird Magazine
These plump finches dwarf every other finch in the trees and nearly every bird that lands on the feeder. The grayish bodies of Pine Grosbeaks are decked out in pinkish reds on males and yellows on females. They easily crush seeds and nip off tree buds and needles with their thick and stubby bill. They breed in open spruce, fir, and pine forests, but they drop in on feeders in winter, especially in the East when they sometimes irrupt outside of their normal range.More ID Info
There are two ways to find Pine Grosbeaks: look for them on their breeding grounds in the West or in Canada; or wait for them to come to sunflower seed feeders in winter in the northern states. During summer, look in open spruce and pine forests and listen for their rich, warbling singing from treetops from mid-May through early August. Their size and sluggish behavior make finding one in a tree easier than finding nearly any other finch. In winter, they frequent bird feeders, but you may also be able to find a group of grosbeaks eating grit along roadsides near open evergreen forests.
Pine Grosbeaks frequently visit feeders especially in the northern states during the winter. Because of their size a large tube feeder, platform feeder, or large hopper is best. Fill one of these feeders with black oil sunflower seeds or hulled sunflower seeds. Learn more at Project FeederWatch.