Pinicola Enucleator – Pine Grosbeak

Pinicola Enucleator - Pine Grosbeak found in Western United States

The pine grosbeak, Pinicola enucleator is a large member of the true finch family, Fringillidae. Its scientific name translates roughly as “the bird that lives in the pines and shells the seeds.” The genus Pinicola contains only one species.

Quick Overview: Pinicola Enucleator – Pine Grosbeak
Body size: Around 11 in (28 cm) and a weight of 85 g (3 oz)
Main colors: Golden-Orange, Red-Bronze, Golden Yellow, Brown-Gray, Pink-Red, Black
Range: West to the Eastern United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: All Year (January – December)
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Pine Grosbeak Description

Males’ heads and bodies are frequently golden orange or reddish-bronze in color, in contrast to the adult female’s golden yellow, and their chins are frequently buffier or more brown-gray in color. The head and face are pink-red, while the bill is large and black. Black wings with two pale bars. Blacktail with a slight notch.

Pinicola Enucleator - Pine Grosbeak found in Western United States
Eating berries Pinicola Enucleator – Pine Grosbeak. Photo by: Scott Heron


These birds have a length of 11 in (28 cm) and a weight of 85 g (3 oz). Their wings could range from 16 in (41 cm).


Seeds, buds, berries, and insects are all edible. Feeds primarily on vegetable matter, particularly during the winter. The seeds of conifers and other trees, the buds of a variety of trees (including maples), the berries, wild fruits (including crabapples), and occasionally the seeds of weeds and grasses are all significant items.


Preference is for open coniferous forests and forest margins. It spends the winter in mixed coniferous-deciduous forests; it is also found in shade trees in villages and suburbs, where it forages.


Forages primarily in the canopy of trees and shrubs. Feeds methodically, moving slowly through trees while feeding on buds, seeds, and fruits. Often forages in small flocks, except during the nesting season.

Pinicola Enucleator Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Fringlillidae
  • Subfamily: Carduelinae
  • Genus: Pinicola
  • Species: Pinicola enucleator

Best time of the year to see

In the United States, the best time of year to see these birds is all year round, regardless of the season. This refers to any month of the year between January and December.

Distribution of the Pine Grosbeak in the USA

Breeds from Alaska east to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, and south to California and Arizona in the western mountains. Winters in the Dakotas North Dakota and South Dakota, and upstate New York.

The Pine Grosbeak be found in the following states in the United States – Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Pinicola Enucleator – Pine Grosbeak

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