Pine Grosbeaks have invaded Essex! Old Stage Road (at Essex Alliance
Church), the Essex Way Post Office, Meadow's Edge Development, Tower's
Road, Route 15 Citgo Station (Essex Center), the Brickyard area (Essex
Junction) all had many many PG's today. In addition, Redpolls were
reported at Essex Alliance Church, and a very large flock (several
hundred) of Bohemian Waxwings were in the Brickyard area of Essex Junction.
In watching these species, it is quite striking the behavioral
differences, even though they are utilizing the same food sources in the
same locations. These observations are somewhat generalized, but
overall give a fair contrast in behaviors at least in the Essex birds
foraging on ornamental crabs/cherries.
1) The BW's (and CW's) form large flocks (up to several hundred birds),
while the PG's seem to travel in smaller groups (5-20).
2) The BW's (and CW's) are very skittish, while the PG's are almost 'tame.'
3) The BW's (and CW's) exhibit tighter flocking behaviors - where one
goes, most seem to follow. The PG's are much more individualistic.
4) The BW's (& CW's) eat the fruit whole, while the PG's macerate the
fruit and take it in chunks.
5) The BW's (and CW's) feed nearly upright. The PG's are much more
'acrobatic' and will contort, hang nearly upside down & etc. to reach a
6) The BW's (and CW's) are almost always in the trees, while the PG's
will forage on the ground.
7) The BW's (and CW's) seem to need tall naked deciduous roosting trees
adjacent to the food source, in order to feel safe. The PG's seem
more comfortable without this feature.
I wonder if others are seeing these behaviors (are they characteristic?)
or are these artifacts of these populations in a suburban environment
shared with humans?