Date: 2/6/18 7:18 am
From: Anant Deshwal <adeshwal...>
Subject: Update on Red Crossbills
Red Crossbills in Hector!
On Saturday, Leif Anderson, Pooja and I started our adventure of finding Red Crossbills in Ozark National Forest near Hector. We, would cover nearly 80 miles a day in their search.
Saturday, was a slow day with respect to all birds. We were trying to find an elusive bird when nearly all birds were elusive. Pine siskin and goldfinches would sometime give us a glimmer of hope but alas, we were left wanting for more. Towards the end of Saturday, we did spot the Red Crossbills (based on body size, shape and flight patterns) but since they were not vocalizing and light was bad, we could not confirm.
Sunday was uneventful too. However, on Monday towards noon, we were blessed with an amazing sight of ~30 Red Crossbills, feeding on a tree right above us. We could hear them feed, we recorded their vocalizations, the sound of pine cones being pried open. True to their nature, they did not present themselves before us until we had put in enough effort to deserve observing them. As Joe Neal would say, you do not find a Red Crossbill, you earn them.
A shout out to Leif Anderson, who is an amazing person and birder. He hosted us at Hector for 3 days, without his help we would not have been able to locate them. We were birding and laughing, I am not sure which one we did more.
Other notable species we saw were Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown-headed Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hermit Thrush.
We are analyzing our recordings to be sure which Type they are.

The Red Crossbills found in Bella Vista, based on the recordings done by Pooja and Joe at Cheryl Hall’s backyard feeder were all Type 2s.

Anant Deshwal
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

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