Date: 10/31/20 7:47 am
From: Caleb Centanni <caleb...>
Subject: [obol] Call for Crossbill Recordings
Hi all,

I'm kicking off a research project on Red Crossbill call types in Oregon
with Doug Robinson in the Fish and Wildlife Department at Oregon State
University, and also in coordination with Matt Young and the Finch Research
Network.

There are 11 different vocal types of North American Red Crossbills, which
have distinctive flight calls and may represent different species. Each
specializes on different conifer cones, but which cones they specialize on
throughout the year is not totally understood in our area. By making
recordings of Crossbills, we can identify them to type, potentially getting
you a new lifer(s!) in the future, while also helping scientists learn more
about them.

Our project goal is to assess the distribution and foraging behavior of
different Crossbill call types in Oregon and assess how conifer species
composition, cone crop, and season affect these data. The result should
hopefully be a clearer understanding of how the types specialize on our
different trees, and what factors in trees lead to irruptions. The first
step is to gather lots and lots of data on where and when Crossbill call
types are occurring, and that's where you come in!

Please consider taking a moment the next time you hear crossbills to make a
recording. This is fairly easy to do, even with your cell phone! See the
guide to making recordings that I've attached for more info, and feel free
to email me with any questions about recording crossbills. If you do so in
Oregon between now and around the end of 2022 and enter the recordings into
eBird (or send them to me directly, if you don't use eBird), they will
likely contribute directly to the project. And whenever you enter them,
they are helpful to Crossbill science in the future. For this project, we
can only use data from exact locations and time and with accompanying
recordings, so if you can either eBird them as a stationary count at an
exact location (or put an exact GPS location or location description in the
comments, or when you email a recording to me) that will make them useful
for the purposes of this study. I (or the Crossbill researchers at Cornell)
can help identify your Red Crossbill recordings to type: Oregon has types
2, 3, 4, 5, 10; rarely 1 and 7. Please let me know if you have any
questions on specifics.

If you want to help out even more and have an interest in botany, let me
know and we can talk about conifer species composition and cone crop
assessment, both of which are pretty straightforward for this project.
Basically, noting what kind of tree they're in and whether there are cones
- pretty easy.

I've included an informal draft (not publication level) description of our
project goal and methods and a tutorial to help beginning recorders with
the recording and uploading process. Again, please reach out if you have
any questions about recording or helping with the project.

This is a great year for Crossbills in Oregon, and White-winged Crossbills
are moving around in Washington (one in Clark Co. yesterday) so there is no
better time to add some of these little finches to your Oregon list! I look
forward to seeing what everyone finds. Here's to some finchy fun to come!

Thanks in advance for all your data, and hope all are warm and well in
these strange times.

Best wishes,
Caleb Centanni

 
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