The Pine Grosbeak came our way courtesy of the Winter Finch Irruption of 2007-08, showing up in New York in numbers that are seldom seen. The entire northern tier of states was visited by this bird, allowing many birders and birdfeeders, including me, to see this boreal bird for the first time.
View this graph from the ebird site that shows just how many more Pine Grosbeaks were reported this winter than in the previous 4 winters.
Pine Grosbeaks reported during last weekend's Great Backyard Bird Count were significant - way more than any GBBCs this decade. Click "Multi-year animation" on this GBBC map to see Pine Grosbeak reports from 2000-2007 to compare to this year's map above.
And data maps in Project FeederWatch show many Pine Grosbeak reports in the US, while very few were reported over the last 19 PFW seasons.
The ebird graph indicates that Pine Grosbeak frequency and abundance peaked in December and has been dropping off since. It also seems to point to a departure in March. So I'll get in a last post featuring this calm and approachable bird, a 2008 life bird and yard bird for me, just in case the visit on Thursday was the last. Safe journey back to the boreal.