Tag Archives: pine crossbill

Early Winter Birds at Ginty Creek

feederHaving the feeder so close to the window, means the early winter birds are right in my face at Ginty Creek.  The first to find the fat were 3 whiskeyjacks.1 whiskey jack fatAlmost immediately came the chickadees – mountain and blackcap – and the colourful, robin-sized pine grosbeaks.2 feeder outside window in snowThe chickadees would check out the options but they always managed to dive in and get what they wanted.3 chickadee hopefulWhen the grossbeaks first arrived, they were accompanied by a smaller red bird, which I have not often seen before.4 gross and cross 2It was a pine cross bill.  It’s beak is naturally bent out of shape to aid it in opening pine cones.  It looks remarkably parrot-like, with it’s strange beak and irridescent feathers, but it is not at all related.5 crossbillIt stayed for two days.  The other birds came and went all day, but the crossbill simply sat there and stuffed himself.

I have never deliberately tried to get the birds to feed from my hand.  But when I am out on the deck and they want their food, they treat me as part of the furniture, even perching on me while I worked on the greenhouse.  I was close enough to this downy woodpecker to touch him.6 downy and houseI like to put a branch close to the feeder so the birds have something to perch on, partly because they like to check out the feeding area, and partly because, if I take photos of them there, it looks as though they are out in the wilderness.  (That is Nogwon behind.)7 above nogwon

8 landing