Posts Tagged 'Red Crossbill'

Stanley Park: February 1st 2013

I decided to take another walk at Stanley Park yesterday afternoon. The weather was quite nice today, as far as winter goes, with some sun and a temperature of around eight degrees. It turned into a good opportunity to get some close up shots of the regular sparrows and other smaller birds. I spent a decent amount of time at the west end of Lost Lagoon in the vicinity of the stone bridge. There’s always a solid congregation of smaller birds around this spot during the winter.

From the stone bridge I turned north and walked through the forested trails to Beaver Lake. Bird activity in this part of the park is generally quiet during the winter but it’s always nice taking a walk through such beautiful forest so close to the downtown core!

There were several groups of Pine Siskins and Red Crossbills feeding on the cones high up in the treetops throughout the section of forest I walked through.

When I got to Beaver Lake I spent most of my time photographing the birds around the wooden bridge at the northwest corner of the lake. The birds are accustomed to being fed at this spot it seems and will come in for a closer look anytime someone stops by. The Chestnut-backed Chickadees are particularly adept at mobbing visitors for a meal.

It was definitely a great day to be outdoors!

Maplewood: March 14th 2010

With the forecast calling for rain I wasn’t expecting much in the way of activity but luckily the worst of the weather was just a couple of brief showers and the birds were out and about as usual.

After watching a mixed flock of Bushtits, Black-capped Chickadees, and a single Ruby-crowned Kinglet near the entrance, I made my way over to the mudflats. The waterline and, consequently, most of the birds were too far out for me to confidently identify everything with my binoculars so I decided to check out the rest of Maplewood before finishing up at the mudflats. One bird of note, however, flew high above the area in an easterly direction; a Red-tailed Hawk.

In the trees on the western bank of the Old Barge Channel I found my best bird(s) of the day. A flock of eight Red Crossbills were perched at the top of two trees not far from the footbridge. This species feeds on conifer seeds; not something in abundance at Maplewood as there aren’t many trees of this type on the property when compared to the surrounding area (1). The nomadic nature of the species, a result of fluctuations in the seed crop, also contributes to the irregularity of birds at this location (1). As such, the Wild Bird Trust’s checklist describes Red Crossbill as rare throughout the year.

Elsewhere on the west side a group of five American Goldfinches were feeding on the seeds of a tree near the West Pond and at one point this large group of gulls circled overhead before heading west…

Back at the mudflats the usual ducks, gulls, and Northwestern Crows were feeding, preening and resting much closer to the viewing area than when I had first checked in. After twenty minutes or so of observation a lone Herring Gull buzzed past and I decided to call it a day.

Reference:

  1. Adkisson, Curtis S. 1996. Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/bna/species/256doi:10.2173/bna.256