Date: 3/18/17 9:30 am From: Bill Whan <billwhan...> Subject: Re: [Ohio-birds] Crossbills?
We can learn a lot from publications, but talking with other Ohio birders can provide extra enlightenment. I got replies from seven others on this topic after I asked. Crossbills are irregular in their movements; sometimes it seems a few are taking advantage of mild winters here, but generally it is only food shortages in the north that govern their movements. Only very seldom do they hang around to nest in Ohio; Peterjohn (2001:556) offers a few examples. Several folks pointed to larger numbers once every few years--2012-13 was one example some observers mentioned--and it seems these flocks gather in response to winter food shortages up north and show up in the US, sometimes quite far south. Climate change seems likely to gradually curtail these invasions. I will not forget the sunny winter days when my wife and I sat on the back deck and watched crossbills feeding on hemlock cones only inches away; we humans were no more frightening to them than reindeer. Thanks, Bill Whan
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