Monday, March 2, 2009

White-Winged Crossbills

White-winged Crossbills usually spend all year in Canada, but because they feed on pinecones, they'll move if need be to look for food, and this year they were a lot farther south than usual, and there were about 20 at a cemetery only about 30-40 min from my house. =D
I had Crossbills songs and calls already loaded onto my mp3 player, and had that hooked up to the car radio. Not hearing any response, I walked off a distance from the car, and thought I heard a call, but it was hard to be sure with the calls playing in the background, so I signalled to my mom to turn off the mp3 player. I listened. Nothing. I walked on a bit more, a bit disappointed and thinking of going home. Then I heard it again. It sounded like just snatches here and there of the song file I had, but I didn't want to get my hopes up and go looking for a bird that wasn't actually there, so I mentally bookmarked my location and went back to the car. After confirming that the mp3 player was indeed off, I returned to my previous location, listened, and heard it again. Now would be the tricky part of actually finding the birds. I couldn't pinpoint the sound due to moderate traffic on a close road, and I was surrounded by several pine trees, each quite volumous. I scanned a few tree tops with the binoculars and then spotted a flutter of wings as one of the Crossbills--a male--moved to another branch.

I followed them from tree to tree and finally got a glimpse of a few females.

Just as I was thinking I should probably leave (as my sister was probably getting tired of sitting in the car) they started flying down in groups of 3-5 to drink from a puddle about 5 feet in front of me!

Afterwards we stopped at a WalMart nearby and bought 25 pounds of sunflower seed and an oriole feeder for this spring, and then I spent the evening celebrating a friend's birthday. It was a nice day. :)

1 comment:

  1. It was great to read this because I saw the trip from your eyes. I'm glad you enjoyed the trip.


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