Date: 11/30/18 9:12 am
From: Tim Spahr <tspahr44...>
Subject: [MASSBIRD] notes on winter finches
Hi Birders,

With the finch irruption in full swing, I figured I'd take a minute to
discuss their feeding habits a bit. It may help folks locate some of these
birds in their local patches.

Right now in the Marlborough area there are tons of fruiting trees
(crabapples, mostly) that are just loaded with food for Pine Grosbeaks. As
winter progresses trees like this, often in industrial parks and other open
areas, should be searched for both Pine and Evening Grosbeaks, and Bohemian
Waxwings. During the 2012/2013 invasion Pine Grosbeaks were seen in quite
a few locations like this, including at gas stations and large parking

Red Crossbills currently are enjoying a bumper crop of white pine cones in
the Sharon area. I looked at a few of my local patches (Upton State Forest
and Desert Natural Area) and did not find either cones or crossbills. It
seems many of the white pine patches that have a good cone crop from
southern MA all the way to New York very near the coast are holding
crossbills. In your travels should anyone notice a big white pine cone
crop let me know! I'd love to search these for crossbills. Also Norway
Spruces should be monitored, as later in the season the crossbills will
shift to these trees when the white pines are exhausted. In my local areas
in Marlborough there are some Norways just loaded with cones.

When all else fails keep those feeders stocked. Many of the winter finches
will show up at your thistle or sunflower seed feeders.

good birding

Tim Spahr

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