Finally Saw One!

Ann asked if I wanted to go for a walk today – just 1/2 hour, she said.  I told the Universe that I wanted to see a new bird.

And the Universe obliged.  Ann spotted movement on a tree ahead of us on the trail.  Pinkish, black, white…  We both though of Purple Finches first when we saw all that pink… But, no!  Purple finches don’t have black wings with white stripes… It’s a White-winged Crossbill!

White-winged Crossbill

Everyone has been reporting them, but I had not seen one until now.  I was so glad I was lugging BOTH binoculars AND camera.  The former helped me ID the bird, the latter document it.  I took a few shots from too far away.  I inched closer and took a few more shots…  We were able to get fairly close and watch how it extracted seeds from White Pine cones.  Unusual, I found out later, as they prefer the seeds of Spruce and Tamarack.

What a great sighting.  Thanks, Ann, for twisting my arm for a short afternoon walk!

White-winged Crossbill

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9 thoughts on “Finally Saw One!

  1. Crossbills are so interesting. We haven’t seen White-winged ones, but have been enjoying a visit by Red Crossbills. With those bills, they are expert at getting into sunflower seeds, and are probably the tamest birds we ever have here.

  2. A pair was reported on the property last week during the snowstorm, so my sister and I bundled up and off we went. Never did see them!! But it was fun being out in the snow. You got some good shots of them. Do you suppose they were making do with the White Pine cones because it’s so late in the season and they’re running out of their preferred main course? I’m just a “student of nature” and have been wondering if that is true for all the birds this time of year. Am I way off base?

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