Notes, birds, nature, meanderings.

Musings about birds, nature, and our meanderings on the Central Oregon Coast

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Story of my Red Crossbills, Part 3

They showed up on May 5, 2012 (see part one of my story here), and stayed, had babies, and brought them to my feeders.  Then, not long after I published the sequel, on July 17th to be exact, they took flight and are gone...


That was the day I saw them "swarming" - at least 30, maybe more, came flying by the house - hovering over the feeder area but not landing.  

They briefly touched down in the tops of our coastal pines.

Flock of Red Crossbills
Then the whole flock lifted off and headed north along the beach.  And I wondered again, is this the last day?

But no, there were at least 2 of them in the feeders - they'd been there the whole time this thing was happening.  

The male showed off some tongue-action on the niger feeder.

As I learned earlier, Red Crossbills are nomadic, following their preferred food availability.  Someone on the Oregon birders email list (OBOL) noted that the area Spruce trees seem heavily laden this year.  I snapped a photo today while out and about - the Spruce trees at Cutler City had huge amounts of cones...  but no Crossbills.
Spruce top-heavy with cones
It sure would be interesting to know more about them.  In the meantime, back at the deck...

Since the day of the swarm, I've had one male at my feeder - he comes every day, several times throughout the day.  

Feeding his spouse as she sits on their nest?  I hope so.

Stay tuned...

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