Red Crossbills in forest near Pine Dell, Ft. Tooth
10 Jan 2016, 7:51 PM,
Red Crossbills in forest near Pine Dell, Ft. Tooth
Two friends and I went cross-country skiing this afternoon for a couple hours west of Pine Dell and south of Ft. Tuthill. We plowed through soft snow up to 2 feet deep, gray clouds slowly rolling south with an occasional crack of blue sky. No tourists down here so the forest was ours - and the birds.

At first we only saw a Red-tailed Hawk circling above the trees and periodically a few Red Crossbills darting over, chip-chip-chipping. Here & there we found the empty wings of ponderosa pine seed littering the snow - evidence of birds having fed above (squirrels would leave cone scales too). Later approaching the top of a south slope with open pine & oak forest, we met up with all kinds of bird activity in short pines. We got to watch a flock of 14 dirty pink and greenish Red Crossbills prying away at closed ponderosa cones as they hopped from tree top to tree top.

Also seen & heard: raven 2, steller's jay 1, flicker 1, acorn woodpecker 1, hairy woodpecker 1, white-breasted nuthatch 3, pygmy nuthatches 15+, mt. chickadee 2.

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