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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Red Crossbills are still in New England, will they stay to breed?

Red Crossbill, male
Red Crossbill, female


eBird map showing Red Crossbill locations now.
Dreaming of Red Crossbills, it's what I do. They are still being seen in scattered locations in the Northeast and other areas of the country. Lots of Type 10s entered the northeast from the Maritimes and upper northeast to feed on the white pine cone crop which was historic but now the crop has been depleted. Some moved south but some may stay and breed in areas of prime food availability. There are still areas of Pitch Pines and Japanese Black PInes that are attracting crossbills now.

 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Pine Warblers Return!


heard a familiar trill recently here in NH, and said "welcome back!" A Pine Warbler was singing in, you guessed it, our grove of white pine trees. Every day is like Christmas this time of year with exciting migrants returning. (photo from another time)

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Belted Kingfishers have returned to NH, Welcome!

 

They're back!! The new arrival is a Belted Kingfisher. This is an exciting time of year as migrants return. Welcome!

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Red Crossbills, Easter Magic

 When you have a deep and meaningful experience with birds it's magical. My Easter gift was I got to spend an hour with a flock of Red Crossbills watching the intimate details of their life as they drank from puddles, ate, watched for danger, did sweet subsong, and constantly communicated with their jip-jip call notes. Their crossed bill is perfectly adapted for extracting conifer seeds from closed or open cones. In the third photo, you can see where the crossbill had inserted its bill into a Pitch Pine cone and deftly extracted a seed. You can see the seed in its seed coat on the tip of the crossbill’s tongue. It will then cradle the seed with its tongue in a special groove in its upper palate, then remove the seed from its coat and swallow it, yum.

Red Crossbill male

  Red Crossbill female


                                                        Red Crossbill with seed on its tongue

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Northern Flickers Have Returned

New arrivals after a recent rainstorm, two Northern Flickers were in our field. This is the female of the Yellow-shafted subspecies group, the male of that group would have a black moustache line. One of my favorite views of flickers we see here is the red V on their nape.