Red Crossbills - Uncommon Around The Skootamatta Lake Area!

Feb 07, 2018

There are Red Crossbills currently around the Skootamatta Lake area - Skootamatta Lake Rd and Jacques Bay Road. If you are driving along and see a small flock of 3-4 birds picking grit on the road these may be Red Crossbills. They are uncommon in this area - I haven't seen any in decades however, they are here now. Crossbills are not typically birds you will find at the bird feeder. They have a unique evolved bill that is 'crossed' for cracking pine cones and finding the pine nut within. The males are reddish however the females are a plain greenish-yellow. My brother, Tracy Hook found this one dead on the Jacques Bay Road (no, he didn't hit it). It was well preserved. It is best recognized by the bright yellow rump. No other bird has this colouring this time of year in our area. You must examine closely to see the crossed bill. The red male photo is from the Internet. These are timid birds. It's difficult to get close enough for a photo.

Submitted by Ken Hook

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