Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Red Crossbills

These bright red birds are delight to see anytime but in the snow their vibrant color really pops! Crossbills are a member of the finch family – like American Goldfinches, House Finches, Pine Siskins and Pine Grosbeaks. They use their crossed beaks to break into pine cones and get the nutritious seeds. They will also come to feeders for sunflower seeds. I have read that if they have sufficient food, they can breed anytime of the year. Before the fire we observed them here year-round. Now they are just an occasional visitor to our feeders. They must miss our pine trees as much as we do.

Lots of birds have enjoyed our feeders this winter. The feeders are set up so we can see them from our main windows throughout the day. A tiny Northern Pygmy-Owl has been terrorizing the even tinier Common Redpolls. Red Crossbills (yes, their bills are crossed) show up most every day and there is, occasionally an American Goldfinch. Most years we have lots of goldfinches and House Finches but not this year.

On days when the temperature gets up to freezing and the sun is shining the honeybees will work at cleaning out their hives. It seems so strange to see dead bees in the snow. It’s supposed to be a good thing – an indicator that the live bees are keeping things tidy in there.

We had a tree-climbing expert come in and install a new nest box from Nice Nests, high up in our biggest dead ponderosa pine tree. Hopefully the kestrel that was here earlier in the winter will return and raise some young birds in it next summer.

%d bloggers like this: