Date: 4/30/18 2:39 pm
From: Cody Porter <empidonaxdvg...>
Subject: [cobirds] Re: RFI -- crossbills and cone crops
Hi Stephen,

Thanks for your email. I don't have a well-defined protocol or standard for
defining a good cone crop. I more or less think of good cone crops as
something that you know when you see -- lots of small purple cones all over
a tree, on most trees in a given area. Good ponderosa cone crops that I've
worked on typically have a couple hundred to a thousand cones per tree.
Good spruce and doug-fir crops often have 3-4 times that.

Put another way, you shouldn't have to work too hard to identify a good
cone crop. Cone crops also tend to be quite similar across pretty long
distances, so if on a casual hike you are noticing lots of developing cones
on lots of trees, chances are the greater region is experiencing a good
cone crop.

I hope that information is helpful.

Best,
Cody Porter
Laramie, WY

On Monday, April 30, 2018 at 12:43:00 PM UTC-6, Stephen Chang wrote:
>
> Hi Cody,
>
> Is there a protocol/standards that you might suggest that would qualify as
> a good cone crop in an area?
>
> Stephen Chang
> Boulder
>
> On Sunday, April 29, 2018 at 6:13:18 PM UTC-6, Cody Porter wrote:
>>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I'm here with my annual request for information on the whereabouts of
>> good cone crops and crossbills.
>>
>> Unfortunately, cone crops over much of the Rockies were non-existent or
>> very poor this last year, causing a mass exodus of our usually abundant
>> type 2 (ponderosa pine) crossbills to the Great Lakes and Northeast region
>> (though it seems there have been several holdouts at feeders along the
>> Front Range and even deeper in the mountains). Hopefully as summer
>> progresses, good cone crops will develop and crossbills will return.
>>
>> As usual, I am particularly interested in hearing about developing
>> ponderosa pine, douglas-fir, and Engelmann/blue spruce cone crops. It is
>> still too early to detect a developing spruce/fir cone crop, but developing
>> ponderosa pine cones should be visible right now. Basically, look for lots
>> of small purple cones on ponderosa branches (see attached photo for an
>> example, taken on April 12 a few years ago). Come late June/early July,
>> spruce and doug-fir will have similar small purple cones all over, if they
>> are to have a good cone crop (attached is a not so great photo of that from
>> July 6 two years ago).
>>
>> Any information (even the absence of a good cone crop in an area) is
>> greatly appreciated. The unpredictable nature of conifer cone crops and
>> crossbills makes working on them an...interesting challenge, but the
>> information you folks have given me over the past few years has made things
>> go much more smoothly than I anticipated when I first started this project.
>>
>> Good birding,
>> Cody Porter
>> Laramie, WY
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> <https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Cipuvb2S3g0/WuZdo04ILUI/AAAAAAAABb4/hfdfvH51iG07XTL1SsWFqVSAQlIt6QXnQCLcBGAs/s1600/ponderosa%2Bpine%2Bconelets%2BVedauwoo.jpg>
>> <https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_74QQpIuj7k/WuZd7X9e6bI/AAAAAAAABcA/h5WODocLk0IQtbIhnOsfyAZ3oevcwYuRACLcBGAs/s1600/IMG_1108.JPG>
>>
>

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