Northern Cardinals eating pine cones.

12 Birds That Eat Pine Cones (with Photos, ID & Info)

Pine cones are a favorite winter snack for many birds. There are many species of birds that enjoy eating pine cones, and in this article we will explore 12 Birds That Eat Pine Cones with Photos, ID & Info about each one.

Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is a songbird native to North America. They can be found throughout Canada, United States, and Mexico. Cardinals eat pine cones from trees that they feed on during their breeding season in late winter or early spring.

The more coniferous trees in your area, the better chance you have of seeing a cardinal at some point during winter because it’s not often that there are many insects around for them to feed on. Pine cones can be found year-round, but they’re most plentiful from September through November, when they drop off of tree branches.

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House Sparrow

House Sparrow perched on a tree branch.
Photo by Petr Ganaj from Pexels

House sparrows are a common bird found in the Eastern and Western United States. They range from North Carolina to Canada, as well as Central America and northern South America.

House sparrows are often seen around bird feeders, where they are attracted to seed mixes that contain sunflower seeds, fruit, insects, and other small animals such as spiders or earthworms. One of their favorite foods is pine cone seeds, which they find on trees or by pecking open cones on the ground.

Related Post: How to Attract Sparrows to your yard?

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse perched on a pine tree.
Photo by Skyler Ewing from Pexels

The Tufted Titmouse is a small songbird found in the United States and Canada. They are often seen foraging on or near the ground, but will occasionally perch high up in trees as well. The Tufted Titmouse eats seeds from many types of plants including pine cones which they break open with their strong beaks to eat the kernel inside.

The range of this bird extends across most of North America, including all areas east of the Rocky Mountains except parts of the southwestern United States and the southeastern coast. It also is found in Central America, Mexico, and parts of northern South America (eastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, Venezuela).

Related Post: How to Attract Tufted Titmouse to your yard?

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee
Photo by Skyler Ewing from Pexels

The Black-capped Chickadee is a common bird in North America. The black-capped chickadee is found in Canada, Alaska and the United States of America, with an exception to Hawaii. They can be found anywhere from suburban yards to forests and mountaintops.

Black-Capped Chickadees eat mostly insects and seeds, such as pine cone seeds, but they also enjoy fruits and berries during their fall migration southward when fruit becomes scarce.

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Mountain Chickadee

The Mountain Chickadee is a common bird found in the eastern United States. It ranges from northern Maine to Nebraska and down into Florida, where it’s replaced by the Carolina Chickadee. The habitats for this species are typically deciduous forests with scattered trees or open areas, including suburbs with large shade trees.

They can also be found at higher elevations, up to around 8500 feet above sea level. Their diet consists mostly of insects, fruit, nuts, seeds and berries. They are seen during the day searching for food, but usually come out at dusk to search for any nighttime sources of sustenance they can find, including tree sap or pine cone seeds.

Red Crossbill

The Red Crossbill is a type of finch that is found in North America. They are found in Eastern Canada and Western United States. The range can be anywhere from Newfoundland to California, with the majority of their population living in the Rocky Mountains region.

They live primarily in coniferous forests or mixed forest-coniferous habitats, where they have access to both pine cones and various types of berries. They feed on insects such as ants and beetles, or seeds like sunflower seeds or pine cone seeds (more commonly found in birds’ diets).

Pine Grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak foraging in the snow.
Image by Jennifer Beebe from Pixabay

The Pine Grosbeak is a large finch native to North America. It’s habitat ranges from Canada, down through the eastern United States and into Mexico.

They are usually found in coniferous forests, but they will also nest near open areas with scattered trees or shrubs where food sources are plentiful. Pine Grosbeaks eat mainly insects, berries, nuts and some pine cone seeds during winter months when their usual food sources are scarce.

Pine Siskin

Pine Siskins are common winter visitors to Canada and the United States. Their range extends south from southern Alaska, west to the eastern edge of Colorado, then east along the northern Great Plains as far as southern Manitoba.

Pine Siskins can be found in all provinces and territories across Canada except Nunavut and Northwest Territories.
They primarily eat seeds of various types of pine trees such as white pine, loblolly pine and longleaf pine tree species among others; they also eat insects like beetles and caterpillars.

Purple Finch

The Purple Finch is a small bird that inhabits the eastern United States and Canada. Its range extends from Southern Ontario to New York, Maine, Minnesota and Montana. These birds eat primarily pine cone seeds from all coniferous trees including pines, spruces, firs and hemlocks.

However, they also eat acorns, nuts and sunflower seeds as well as berries such as blackberries and raspberries. In winter, they will migrate to areas with warmer climates.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

The red-bellied woodpecker is a medium-sized bird with a big personality. This species has been found in many parts of the United States, and can be seen as far north as Alaska. The largest populations are found in the southeastern states like Georgia and Florida.

The red-bellied woodpecker’s habitat is typically a deciduous forest, where they can find plenty of trees with cracks and crevices for nesting holes. The red-bellied woodpeckers have been known to eat pine cone seeds from Ponderosa pines, but they will also feed on insects, larvae, and eggs.

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White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch
Image by RusticPix .com from Pixabay

The White-breasted Nuthatch is a small, plump bird that has black and white stripes on its head. The White-breasted Nuthatch lives in the coniferous forests of North America and ranges from Alaska to Newfoundland and south to Georgia, Arkansas, Kansas and Iowa.

They live mainly in mature or old growth forest with abundant amounts of evergreens. This species eats insects, seeds, berries and pine cone seeds which are found abundantly in these forests.

Related Post: How to Attract Nuthatches to your yard?

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

The Red-breasted Nuthatch is a small North American bird. Their diet consists mainly of insects, but it also includes seeds from coniferous trees, such as pine cones and spruce needles. The nuthatches are known for their habit of wedging themselves into the openings of trees to find food, often while upside down.

Nuthatches live in various types of forests across North America including spruce, fir, oak and mixed forest regions. They will also occasionally nest in urban areas such as parks and backyards. They can be found all year round throughout North America.