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Red crossbills still here – for the summer?

Posted by Mike on May 3rd, 2013

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?

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2 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Melody // May 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I saw one outside my kitchen window last night. 12th Ave @ 94th

  • 2 Elizabeth // May 4, 2013 at 1:52 am

    I still have 20-30 in my yard for most of the day. Waiting for the grosbeaks to join in the fun. Two impressive examples of beak evolution. They are regular waterbath visitors — water sources could be as effective as feeders to attract the crossbills.

    I don’t expect lowland nesting, though! Grosbeaks usually depart for the hills around the first of June, could be the same for crossbills. Does anyone know when the last big irruption was? Could the loss of pines from bark beetles result in more crossbill irruptions here?