Pine Grosbeak Pinicola enucleator


Justification of Red List category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population is estimated to number > c.4,000,000 individuals (Rich et al. 2004), while national population estimates include: < c.1,000 wintering individuals in China, c.100-10,000 breeding pairs in Japan and c.100-10,000 breeding pairs in Russia (Brazil 2009). The European population is estimated at 92,300-214,000 pairs, which equates to 185,000-428,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms approximately 5% of the global range.


Trend justification
This species has undergone a large and statistically significant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (-72.5% decline over 40 years, equating to a -27.6% decline per decade; data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007).


This species inhabits lowland, lower montane and subarctic conifer forests and woods, including larch (Larix), spruce (Picea), cedar (Cedrus) and fir (Abies). It is also found along the tree-line of northern taiga. It occupies mixed deciduous and conifer, in light or open forest, often along forest edge, on hillsides, in clearings and in damp or marshy areas. In the non-breeding season more widely found in deciduous woods, willow thickets and copses in valleys and woodland patches at edges of cultivation, including orchards, as well as mixed scrub, parks and suburban gardens.

It breeds from May to July. The nest is a deep untidy or loose cup built mostly of juniper, spruce, birch or pine twigs and occasionally with plant fibres, pine needles, grass, lichen filaments, moss, animal hair and feathers. It is usually placed two to six metres from the ground close to or against the trunk of a tree, in pine, spruce, juniper or birch, and often well hidden in densest part of the tree. Clutches are three or four. It feeds principally on seeds, buds, shoots and small fruits and takes some invertebrates. The species is resident and a partial migrant and is occasionally irruptive (Clement 2016).


In central Finland, declines during the latter part of 20th century may be due to large-scale deforestation (Clement 2016). The species may also be threatened by changes in habitats driven by climate change (Virkkala et al. 2013a).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Planning of future protected areas should take into account their location in relation to predicted climate change (Virkkala et al. 2013b).


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Ashpole, J

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Pinicola enucleator. Downloaded from on 25/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/02/2024.