News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

Red Crossbills still here on the first of June

June 1st, 2013 by Mike

The Red Crossbills that arrived in Maple Leaf nearly two months ago are still here on the morning of June 1st.

This is, um, unusual. (From the Sibley Guide to Birds, Red Crossbills are “uncommon and very irregular.”)

In comments on an earlier post, Elizabeth noted that crossbills, a type of finch, would likely leave for the mountains around now.

But we have over a half-dozen in the yard this morning. They are quite bossy around the feeders, chasing other birds away. Earlier in the week they even tangled with an Anna’s Hummingbird at our water feature.

→ 1 CommentTags: , , ,

Red crossbills still here – for the summer?

May 3rd, 2013 by Mike

The Red Crossbills we first wrote about a month ago are still here, up and down 12th Avenue Northeast and other spots in town.

Various reports over the past week:

I was watching a flock of about a dozen red crossbills working a tree in my neighbor’s backyard here in the Broadview neighborhood of North Seattle. First sighting in my neighborhood ever, for me anyway. Beautiful, chatty, entertaining critters they are!

Crossbills–They’re Everywhere!

The crossbills are even more tolerant of people than evening grosbeaks and  siskins, though they tend to be better at avoiding house/window hits. I can walk about four feet from our platform feeder without disturbing the  birds.

Around 1:00 this afternoon some volunteer work for  Seattle Audubon took me to a residential area near  122nd and Roosevelt in North Seattle. Noticing a  cone filled evergreen I wondered to myself if  Crossbills might like it when I heard birds  overhead and they landed immediately over me in  the exact spot. Fourteen Red Crossbills spent the  next 15 minutes gorging on the cones.

Could they be nesting?

→ 2 CommentsTags: ,

Red Crossbill madness hits Seattle! (They’re a bird, not a team)

April 11th, 2013 by Mike

Since our original post about Red Crossbills at the Maple Leaf Life feeders (they’re still here, incidentally), reports have come in from all over town.

Today on that first post Lynda noted: “I started seeing these crossbills (8900 block of 12th Ave NE) at my feeder at Easter and it took me a while to identify them because all three were females which don’t have much color. Today one female was joined by a male; quite colorful!”

We also posted to the Washington state bird listserve, Tweeters. Here are some updates from Wednesday, April 10:

Here, meaning, Phinney/Ballard, where I just spotted a couple of Red Crossbills at our feeders.

What a nice surprise, especially because I’d failed in my search for them lately in some of the taller trees and pines in our hood.

—————-

To chime in about apparently ubiquitous crossbills, my son-in-law reported to us that on Fri 4/5, he saw a pair virtually at his feet in the lot where he parks for work in back of the SODO Showbox. They were feeding on fallen cones. I guess that for this year, anyway, they are urban birds!

—————

Seeing as how many others have reported their Red Crossbills in the last day or two I will add my two cents worth. I had a small flock of about 8-12 Red Crossbills in my yard two blocks south of Green Lake (North Seattle) yesterday morning for the first time. The were bathing in my waterfall (not all of which is visible from my office – there may have been several more). A delight to see.

———————–

Red Crossbills over here, too. In the tall pines just inside the 3rd NW/145th St entrance of Llandover Woods in North Seattle (also a favorite woodpecker haunt). Can’t get enough of those pinecone-pecking passeriformes!

→ 1 CommentTags: ,

Red Crossbill madness hits Seattle! (They're a bird, not a team)

April 11th, 2013 by Mike

Since our original post about Red Crossbills at the Maple Leaf Life feeders (they’re still here, incidentally), reports have come in from all over town.

Today on that first post Lynda noted: “I started seeing these crossbills (8900 block of 12th Ave NE) at my feeder at Easter and it took me a while to identify them because all three were females which don’t have much color. Today one female was joined by a male; quite colorful!”

We also posted to the Washington state bird listserve, Tweeters. Here are some updates from Wednesday, April 10:

Here, meaning, Phinney/Ballard, where I just spotted a couple of Red Crossbills at our feeders.

What a nice surprise, especially because I’d failed in my search for them lately in some of the taller trees and pines in our hood.

—————-

To chime in about apparently ubiquitous crossbills, my son-in-law reported to us that on Fri 4/5, he saw a pair virtually at his feet in the lot where he parks for work in back of the SODO Showbox. They were feeding on fallen cones. I guess that for this year, anyway, they are urban birds!

—————

Seeing as how many others have reported their Red Crossbills in the last day or two I will add my two cents worth. I had a small flock of about 8-12 Red Crossbills in my yard two blocks south of Green Lake (North Seattle) yesterday morning for the first time. The were bathing in my waterfall (not all of which is visible from my office – there may have been several more). A delight to see.

———————–

Red Crossbills over here, too. In the tall pines just inside the 3rd NW/145th St entrance of Llandover Woods in North Seattle (also a favorite woodpecker haunt). Can’t get enough of those pinecone-pecking passeriformes!

→ 1 CommentTags: ,

Red Crossbills (a type of finch with, yes, crossed bills) spotted at Maple Leaf Life!

April 6th, 2013 by Mike

Update Tuesday, April 9: Crossbills are still here!

For the first time in over a dozen years here, we’ve spotted male and female Red Crossbills in Maple Leaf.

They arrived on Friday, April 5th, and are still here this afternoon, at the bird feeders at 12th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 89th Street.

From the Sibley Guide to Birds, Red Crossbills are “uncommon and very irregular.”

Birds of Washington State explains:”With crossed bill tips and nimble tongues, crossbills are uniquely adapted for extracting seeds from conifer cones. ”

There have been a number of Red Crossbill sightings in the area recently.

Crossbills were seen in Des Moines earlier today, a female was seen in Wedgwood on Friday and a flock was spotted near the Woodland Park Zoo on Wednesday. (Information from bird listserve Tweeters.)

For more local information on Maple Leaf birds, click here.

→ 2 CommentsTags: , ,