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