2023—The Mope

The Pine Grosbeak is a striking bird, also known as the Boreal Finch because of the biome in which it lives. According to the American Bird Conservancy, in Newfoundland, it has the nickname the “Mope” because of its slow-moving, almost sluggish ways. Because this American Robin sized bird lives where there are not many people, it does not seem to fear humans and will approach. We noticed at Sax-Zim Bog that when flocks of these birds were nibbling seed thrown onto the snow, they would approach us standing there. Of course they were then too close for photographs but I found it very interesting that they would walk to within a few feet of me, look up, turn back and slowly make their way back to the pile of seed. They often perched on the branches without moving for long periods, unlike the fluttery Black-capped Chickadees that spent fractions of a second before flitting away.