Date: 5/1/18 6:43 pm
From: Jeremy Coleman <jcolemanarch...>
Subject: Re: [MASSBIRD] Red Crossbills & Norway Spruces
I have been to the Montague Sand Plains on a number of occasions in the
past 3 weeks, paying particular attention to any signs of Crossbills. I
haven't run into any on those visits, which isn't to stay they aren't still
there.

Jeremy Coleman
Shelburne Falls

On Tue, May 1, 2018 at 10:17 AM, Tim Spahr <tspahr44...> wrote:

> Hi Birders,
>
> I poked around some areas in Berkshire County yesterday looking for Red
> Crossbills and met with pretty good success. The first stop was the big
> Norway Spruce grove on Washington Mountain Road--there are clearly a lot of
> crossbills there as I had them from 3 different pulloffs. Rather
> interestingly, I had 4 different flight call types: 1, 2, 3, and 10.
> (note there was also a Type 5 here in February). Many of these large
> Norway Spruces are full of cones, and it seems likely that there will be
> some nesting in these trees in the next few months, and it may be going on
> now.
>
> Birds were also present in Windsor State Forest--again in large stands of
> cone-laden Norway Spruces. There was also a flock of 6 Evening Grosbeaks
> as well, a real treat for someone who hardly ever sees or hears these birds.
>
> It appears right now that any place with large stands of Norway Spruces
> that have good cone crops could be potential locations for nesting Red
> Crossbills. I would encourage observers to give these areas a look from
> now through August. Some areas I know of that have this habitat are:
>
> --Washington Mountain Road (technically in Washington, I think)
> --Windsor State Forest, Windsor
> --Savoy Mountain State Forest, Savoy
> --Quabbin Gates 5-8
>
> Keen observers will note that the Montague crossbills are not using Norway
> Spruces--they are using red and pitch pines! That habitat could also be
> productive for searching. Keep in mind these birds will select ideal
> habitat if it is available--large stands (hundreds of trees) abundant with
> cones.
>
> A few checklists from yesterday;
>
> https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45108028
>
> https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S45100724
>
> If anyone has any questions about habitat or searching locations, please
> feel free to get in touch. This irruption is still going on and will for a
> few more months!
>
> good birding
>
> Tim Spahr
> Marlborough
> <tspahr44...>
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