Thursday, October 27, 2011

Red Crossbills in my Spruce Tree!

I have never seen Red Crossbills (Loxia curvirostra) here, in Estevan SK, before.  Okay, I haven't lived in this house, or even this area all my life, but still....

There they were, way in the top of the tree

...opening the cones with their weird and efficient bills and gobbling the seeds

No white wing bars, so not the White-winged Crossbills I expected to see - and which are often around here at various times during the winter

Sorry, the photos aren't the clearest.  I had just pulled into my driveway from an RV trip to Manitoba; was starting to unload the vehicle when I heard some unfamiliar twittering coming from the top of the spruce.  After driving most of the day, I was a little wobbly & shaky aiming almost straight up.  No time to set-up my tripod.  Maybe they will come back today.

For more info & better photos of Red Crossbills, go here:


  1. Not uncommon in Northern Minn., they are quite rare in the southern part of the state. Three years ago we had an "erutpion" and I counted about 15 of them working in a fir tree in my woods. And some redpolls and pine siskins. :)

  2. TB, there were Common Redpolls flitting around the neighbourhood this afternoon. They usually aren't here until some snow flies - we haven't had snow yet and fingers crossed that we don't for a little while longer.