Total Pageviews

Monday, January 9, 2012


It has been quite amazing to see that White-winged Crossbills seem to invade the south every winter now, at least in small numbers. They have done so each winter since 2008/2009 when we had the largest invasion in recent decades. While searching for Red Crossbill at local cemeteries this weekend I had what I am almost sure was a Type 1 or Type 2 Red Crossbill fly over, giving the 'toop' call rather than the standard 'tik-tik'. It gave the note 3 times spaced out by 2 seconds+ each time, then was never heard again. It did not land, apparently. Here is the checklist for that day:

So today I returned to check if the putative Red Crossbill might put in another appearance. It didn't, though Randy Vandermolen and I were able to score some awesome closeup experience with a flock of 6 White-winged Crossbills. They clearly preferred the smaller spruce cones (not sure of species, but the cones were 1/3 the length of Norway Spruce cones). Enjoy:

White-winged Crossbills, Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs, MI, January 9, 2012White-winged Crossbills, Elmwood Cemetery, Cedar Springs, MI, January 9, 2012

And finally, here is the checklist from today:

and a hugely valuable resource for those of us wanting to learn the differing vocalizations, bill sizes, and tree preferences of the various types of Red Crossbills:

No comments: