Named from the French words gros and bec, indicating a large powerful bill, this avian darling known as a pine grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator) seems a perfect harbinger of beauty and good luck to ring in the new year.
A large member of the true finch family, these birds can be exceedingly slow and tame, so seemingly unmotivated, in fact, that they are often overlooked by birders since they don't startle into flight when humans are nearby. This character trait has given rise to the local name in Newfoundland of "mope"! This particularly pretty mope was photographed by Tony LePrieur in Weaselhead Park, Calgary Alberta.
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