[Tweeters] Pine Grosbeak (11/22) and Common Redpoll (11/12), Hawthorne Hills, Seattle

Duncan, Scot sduncan at bsc.edu
Wed Nov 22 19:35:44 PST 2017

Happy Thanksgiving Tweeters,

I had a Pine Grosbeak (PIGR) today in the Hawthorne Hills neighborhood (area code 98105). I was biking with my daughter when I heard a call I didn't recognize. I immediately forgot about parenting and traffic safety and went into birding mode. I spotted the calling bird in the top of a Douglas Fir calling excitedly. Visually all I saw was a bird slightly smaller than a robin calling from the tree top, and then flying away. But it called about 10 times with a loud and distinctive call that sounded like a finch with a cockatiel quality to it. I knew it wasn't any of the local finch or finch-like birds (House Finch, Pine Siskin, Am Goldfinch, House Sparrow), nor did it match the Red Crossbills I have heard locally. Because PIGR had been seen in the city recently, and there were few options left, this was at the top of my suspect list. I headed directly home, just several blocks away, to compare what I heard with recordings. The call matched perfectly with "calls #1" for Pine Grosbeak on the Sibley App. I also listened to Evening Grosbeak and quickly ruled that out. The bird seemed restless and flew away within about 30 seconds of my spotting/hearing it. A later walk through the neighborhood yielded no further encounters.

I'll also take this opportunity to report that I heard a Red Crossbill flyover the neighborhood on Nov 12. I was raking leaves in our tiny yard when I heard a flyover finch calling that I didn't recognize. As I did today, I dropped everything and headed to my Sibley App to compare. It matched perfectly the "chit-chit-chit" call on the "songs & calls_AK" recording on the Sibley App. I didn't report this on eBird because it would be a lifer for me, and I want to see the bird to count it. I spend a lot of time outdoors in this neighborhood and haven't heard another.



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