I saw my first and only Pine Grosbeak, a female, in West Boylston, MA earlier this month, so you can imagine how happy I was to find a male (albeit a juvenile) among the birds at this Westborough location. There were five females (from what I could tell) and one young male eating in the same tree or just below it.
According to allaboutbirds, immature males are usually indistinguishable from immature or adult females until the second year when they molt and grow new reddish feathers. Some young males have some red or orange feathers in the body plumage, which females do not. I think they are stunning looking birds! Based on this info, I'd say that this male was in his second year.
(Note: Alan tells me that he wouldn't have the confidence to ID the one I called a male. That is his very kind way of saying that it's probably a female! So.....I will wait to see a male Pine Grosbeak another day!)
I wonder how many shoppers at this plaza realized that these gorgeous birds were so close and stopped to take a look!? Note: these birds were in the front corner of the parking lot (actually on the side of the inner roadway) of Speedway Plaza, just behind a car dealership. It's a good idea to focus on the birds and try to filter out the litter, dirty ditchwater and noise of Route 9 traffic!
Thanks, Gary and thanks, Alan!
the possible male, but no way to confirm, so I will call it "female type"