I finally got a crossbill family…..


It took awhile! Today the crossbills finally landed on my feeder and then waited in line patiently for the feeder to open up. I’ll explain that in depth. There is a huge (about six story high) ponderosa pine right next to my feeder. All the birds (in general) are patient and wait tucked in that tree until one bird has swooped down and gotten a seed and then leaves. All of them show a lack of restraint in general and and exhibit an overall good attitude about sharing. There is one exception, the pine siskin, who just happily sits in the feeder until it looks like his side will burst and then, and only then, they finally leave offering up the feeder to other birds. Other birds have to adapt to the problem of the siskin – like in this case when he just forced his way in and insisted on taking a bite. (The look the siskin is giving him almost makes me laugh it’s like; “ummm so, bud what happened to your bill?)

Red Crossbill with Pine Siskin

So that was my first shot and then I got both the male and female waiting for the feeder to open again.

Red Crossbill (male)

Male Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)

Red Crossbill (female)

Female Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)

It makes for a pretty colorful family considering the juvenile usually looks like the bird perched with the first crossbill at the feeder. (Just like a pine siskin only they have thinner beaks according to Cornell on crossbills.)


6 Responses to “I finally got a crossbill family…..”

  1. 1 montucky

    Great photos! I love seeing them in the pines! It’s good to see the crossbills. I don’t believe we’ve ever had one visit here. We did get our swallows in for the summer though.

  2. Montucky – one of the reasons its taken me so long to get these guys is because they flock wayyyyyy up in the trees. I was pretty happy that some finally came down to my feeder. I’ve been watching them munch pine cones at the tippy top of the ponderosa and white pine for awhile now… I’m glad they finally came down for a day! (The white pine is real popular with them) Your swallows came that is soooo cool!

  3. 3 montucky

    No sooner said…

    About an hour after I left the previous comment about not having a crossbill here, guess what? I looked out at our feeding area and there were three of them! You didn’t just tip-toe over and release a few here, did you?

  4. that made me laugh, nope! Maybe they have a braver strain this year – I only saw one on my feeder last summer and the minute it saw me it flew away almost like it was a figment of my imagination. (p.s. I just love it when it seems like nature has its own sense of humor!)

  5. It has been such a long time since I have seen any crossbills! Great photos and so glad they visited your feeder!

  6. Thanks Monarch – I have watched them with pure green envy high up on the treetops I’m happy they finally came down to visit!

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