A male Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator), perched on a small spruce tree in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click the image to view a larger version of the photo.
Here’s a photo I took last spring of a male Pine Grosbeak. I had set up a couple of feeders around the Shack and these gorgeous birds would come in every day and have a good ole time. Other regular visitors to the buffet were Black-capped and Boreal Chickadees, Common Redpolls, Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, Gray Jays and, of course, the effervescent Red Squirrel. Ravens came by, from time to time, but rarely dropped down to the feeder. The Pine Grosbeaks were my favorite though.
The grosbeaks are actually a finch, the largest of the boreal finches. A group of these birds together is called, wait for it, a ‘gross’ of grosbeaks. They’re such a cool bird, and very tolerant of my puttering around the cabin; they’d generally ignore my comings and goings.
I grabbed a small white spruce sapling that some snow-machiners had run over and destroyed, and used it to set up the perch. For a background I hung a fleece blanket up and positioned it for a nice clean background. It’s a little bit ‘contrived’, but hopefully it works OK. Continue reading →
Sorry for the delay in posts, again. I came in to Anchorage for a few days, and have been sitting, faithfully, at my computer trying to make it start. It locked up during an update, apparently, and then I couldn’t get it to start. I managed to back up most of the data on it, though it took forever. I thought the HD was fried, but it appears no problems there. I’m still working on getting all the programs back up, etc, and it’s taking way too long. I’m about sick of this computer business – I’m ready to head back to the safety of the woods. I’ll take 40-50 below zero temperatures over technology problems anyday. This stuff is too much hassle.
I did manage to take a few bird photos in the park before I came back out. They’re tricky little critters to shoot, but lots of fun. This male Pine Grosbeak was pretty cool, and I managed to get a few images. They’re named a ‘pine’ Grosbeak because they do so love the pine or coniferous forests (I spose Coniferous Grosbeak doesn’t sound so cool a name). Technically, they’re not a true Grosbeak, but a large Finch. The scientific name for the bird is Pinicola enucleator, which is pretty fancy. ‘Pinicola’ translates as ‘pine dweller’. They’re one of the few birds who winter this far north .. all the smarter ones fly south to warmer climes.
For folks such as my father, you have to click the “play” button located directly under the photo to hear the track that goes with this photo. For folks a little more hip than my dad, you get a prize if you know who the author of the track is; composer, track title, and album, please. No googling allowed.