Friday, January 09, 2009

Moscow Pine Grosbeaks, 1/9/09

Hi All -

I just now had a flock of ~20 Pine Grosbeaks in the treetops just across the street from my east Moscow home. It appears that there is a wide spread irruption under way in northern Idaho and birders should be on the lookout throughout the inland northwest. I suspect they might show up in some of the lowland e. WA counties. It's helpful to be familiar w/ their lilting flight and contact calls - I found some especially good examples on Cornell's Birds of NA Online web site (subscription required). I'm actually pretty sure I heard some while skiing just north of Moscow last Saturday and perhaps one other time but couldn't be certain (one reason I went and found some calls to listen to!). This is my second record in town although they are more or less annual in winter in small numbers in the forested areas east of Moscow. With the large number of birds appearing over such a broad area I suspect these birds may be coming from outside of our region. I believe western Montana is also experiencing an influx of Pine Grosbeaks.


Charles Swift
Moscow, ID

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