12.09.2020 Into the archives for a visitor from the north

In 2007 we had an irruption of Pine Grosbeaks-Pinicola enucleator (yes, I did almost type Pina Colada). Their range is north of Massachusetts but occasionally drift south looking for food.  As you can tell from the picture this one, and quite a few of her fellow travelers, were successful in their search in Quabbin Park.

I managed a few dozen shots and in each one she had a crab apple in her mouth. Pretty much non-stop feeders and the tree was picked clean.

I shot this with my old 5D and 300 f/4 combination. Although these are large for finches it it usually was a challenge for me to capture a full frame shot (this is slightly cropped on the sides) of small birds.  But these, as with the crossbill I shared earlier this year, were so busy eating that I was able to approach fairly close.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Animal Behavior, Nature Photography, Quabbin, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to 12.09.2020 Into the archives for a visitor from the north

  1. I would love to have a crab apple in the garden for just this reason, to see the birds feeding. The berries are a lovely wine red with orange pith, nice with the sandy background and brown/grey tones of bird and twigs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We had a crab at the edge of our property but had to take it down as it was diseased. We couldn’t see it from the house and I never really saw it having visitors when nearby. Attracting birds with the fruit and enjoying the spring flowers make a crab apple a wonderful addition to a yard. Maybe we’ll replace it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your mention of almost writing piña colada reminded me of the Spanish idiom empinar el codo,whose literal meaning is ‘to tilt an elbow’ but which people use as a euphemism for ‘to drink too much alcohol.’

    When it comes to your picture, I’ll do what I did with your neighbor Eliza yesterday and trade ya for something similar.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice Steve! Enjoyed seeing your image!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. melissabluefineart says:

    These and the cross-bills are such beautiful shots! Poor things must be really be hungry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If they wander down here it’s usually for lack of food up north. Of course we are sorry for that but happy when we get a chance to see them here. Same thing with Great Gray Owls. Every few years we get several locally. It happens more now with Snowy Owls too in recent years.

      Liked by 1 person

      • melissabluefineart says:

        Yes, we get snowy owls here, sitting around on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Poor hungry things. As you say, nice for us to get a glimpse of the great white north without having to go there.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Eliza Waters says:

    Beautiful capture, Steve. I don’t recall ever seeing these, but that was too long ago to remember if I did!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Todd Henson says:

    What I like about this one is how it’s not eating an entire crab apple, but instead had pulled it apart. And I like how we can see the crab apple the strip came from. Very nice image!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. shoreacres says:

    I’m curious about the crabapples. The ones I’m familiar with are much larger than these: maybe golf-ball sized. My grandmother pickled them, and we kids threw them at one another during our various ‘wars.’ It’s a great photo of the bird. There’s something about catching birds in the process of feeding that appeals to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • While growing up I spent time at my grandparents camp in northern New York, the Adirondacks, and we had a tree with fruit like you describe. The one we had in our yard that I mentioned to Sel above produced tiny fruit like these. Lots of varieties. My family used to visit a steakhouse near Boston when we’d go to a Red Sox game and they served their steaks with a “slab” of crab apple. Those things were huge and about the size of the pineapple rings you can get canned from the market. As a gastronomical aside not relating to fruit of any kind, the steakhouse offered huge portions…slabs as well and shades of “The Hungry Heifer”…and it boggles my mind that I used to gobble down a 24 ounce sirloin back then. 8 ounces pretty much satisfies me now.
      I am happy to catch them doing about anything but feeding certainly gets your attention.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ann Mackay says:

    We have a crabapple in the garden but I never see birds eating them. There are some well-chomped ordinary apples though. (We don’t begrudge the birds a few of those – there’s plenty to share.)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. bluebrightly says:

    Very nice – such gentle colors, I like that. There’s been an irruption of Pine Siskins this year, I think across the continent – have you seen many?

    Liked by 1 person

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