White Winged Crossbills in Waitsfield

Posted on Monday 2 March 2009

During the snowfall in Waitsfield today (3/2/09) Mad Birder Pat Folsom managed to see and photograph this female White Winged Crossbill.  This is the first time Pat has seen a Crossbill at her feeder eating sunflower seeds.  These birds rarely visit feeders as they usually are found at the top of evergreens , using  their crossed bill to pry seeds out of pine cones.   Occasionally they are seen on the road, eating salt and grit.   This bird accompanied a large flock of Common Redpolls and Pine Siskins and was seen three different times in the yard.  This bird can be seen in Vermont at any time of year.  Their unusual “crossed”  bill helps the birds remove seeds from cones.  Crossbills also have a special “pocket” in their throats that enables them to store conifer seeds.  Researchers have documented this species consuming as many as 3,000 seeds in a single day. 

White Winged Crossbill (Female)

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