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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