Wednesday Wings: Crossbills

These photos were taken by Tim Hopwood over the past two weeks in various locations within the city of Calgary. The first four photos show Red Crossbills (which seem to be more abundant than usual in the city this winter), and the rest are White-winged Crossbills.

To see more of Tim’s photos, see his blog, Tim J. Hopwood Images.















7 thoughts on “Wednesday Wings: Crossbills

  1. Pingback: Friends of Fish Creek Winter Birding, Week 4 – Carburn Park | Birds Calgary

  2. Locations for these photos:
    Carburn Park – spruce next to parking lot
    Marshall Springs in Fish Creek Park – spruce along the main trail
    Weaselhead – spruce just outside the parking

    Cheers, Tim.

  3. Thanks folks. Until this winter, I had only ever seen Crossbills as dots in the sky or at the tops of very tall trees. The past month or so I have been coming across them regularly & relatively low down…for example, the spruce trees next to the Carburn Park parking lot which are maybe 30ft high & even then the flock was only 2/3 up (they started at the top & worked their way down). I gather there is an irruption of sorts going on, so maybe this has something to do with this…i.e. needing to feed on whatever they can, even if it’s lower down. Also, when they are feeding they are rather quiet and on several occasions I’ve found them by hearing just the sound of cone pieces hitting the ground…previously I would have just walked on by blissfully ignorant, so now I’m always scanning the spruce. And finally, I was using a 600mm lens which gives you extra reach, but honestly the real key was the fact the Crossbills were low in the trees. Hope that helps. Cheers, Tim.

  4. Awesome set of photos. usually when we see cross bills they are in the top of an 80 ft spruce. Nicely done.

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