(Pinicola enucleator). Patient Number 21-1707.
Date of admission: November 12, 2021.
Reason for admission: Left wing injury.
One of the largest finch species and the largest of the northern finches, pine grosbeaks inhabit sub-arctic and boreal forests across North America and from eastern Asia to Scandinavia. In Alberta, pine grosbeaks are commonly spotted in the forested regions of the province, they prefer pine forests over all other wooded areas. Grosbeaks can often be found living in large flocks; some flocks number more than 100 birds. Interestingly, the pine grosbeak was depicted on the 1986 series of the Canadian $1000 bill.
During the summer months, these birds feed on the growing tips of conifer branches, seeds, and insects. During the winter months, grosbeaks will feed on a variety of seeds from several tree species, including mountain ash and elder. Generally, pine grosbeaks do not migrate, but they may fly to the southern edges of their range to escape the harshest winter conditions. During the winter, grosbeaks are frequent visitors to urban bird feeders; these feeders often provide a vital reliable food source.
Males are reddish-pink and gray, whereas females and immatures are grayish with tints of reddish-orange. When courting the male will sing a mellow continuous warble to attract a female and defend his nesting territory. Both parents care a feed their offspring using developed throat pouches that allow them to carry more food at once. Their young will leave the nest 14-21 days after hatching.
After arriving at the center, this Pine Grosbeak was found to be suffering from a left-wing injury. Populations of Pine Grosbeaks remain in Alberta throughout the winter, so he will be able to reunite with his flock once he has made a full recovery.
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