LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I've Got Another Crossbill

Little more than a week ago, I had never seen a Red Crossbill. Since his first appearance on March 27, the lovely red bird has been a frequent visitor at our feeders. We are thrilled with this unusual sight.

So you can just imagine my surprise when I looked out and saw ANOTHER Red Crossbill! This one is a young male who is moulting, his feathers changing from the greenish color of the female to the bright red of the adult male.

His back is like a beautiful painting.

The adult male and the young one share a drink of water.


The eat together at the feeder. The two of them come to the feeder together quite frequently, although both come individually as well.





The adult sits watching from the tree. I wonder if he thinks the young male is his son? Perhaps he is, but we will never know.
I watch the trees and feeders for a female. Now wouldn't that be a sight to behold?

19 comments:

Lynne said...

WOW Carolyn!! What a treat to see these birds. Do you have lots of conifers in your area?

jan m said...

That's exciting to have not one, but two to keep an eye on. I have never seen one, but always have my eyes on the conifers around here.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Love that bird, Carolyn, and I've never seen one. They kinda act like our Cardinals did last Summer when the male (Daddy) was teaching the young one how to eat/drink for himself. Maybe yours is the Daddy...???
Hugs,
Betsy

robin andrea said...

That's incredibly good news. How lucky to have them hanging around for a while. Great pics.

Cheri said...

Great photos. I have to dig out my 35mm old fashioned camera and try to get some bird photos here at our house. My digital does not allow me to get close enough. Did you live in Boone? I thought you mentioned it once before. We lived in Linville for 10 years before moving to Asheville area.

troutbirder said...

How neat! Our white-winged crossbills that appeared this year in Bluff Country were also a first for me. They are on their way back to Canada now.

Cheryl said...

This is such a lovely story....I love the adult and young bird feeding and drinking together...

A female would be great.....I wait with anticipation......

KB said...

I bet that a female is somewhere nearby. Around here (Colorado mountains), we usually have huge flocks of crossbills or none at all. So, I'm a little surprised that you have a couple of crossbills - it's not a scenario that I've ever seen. Maybe they got separated from the flock somehow.

You take absolutely stunningly gorgeous photos.

Cedar ... said...

Nice shots of the crossbills!

Kallen305 said...

What a gorgeous bird, even w/ the molting! I would love to see one of those and can't even imagine having one come to my feeder.

Shellmo said...

These are so beautiful to see! I love that they hang out together and you were able to get these photos!

Toni said...

Awesome Carolyn! Gotta love Spring and migration. You never know what you will find at your feeders.

Bird Girl said...

That is just so darn neat! The first year crossbill male reminds me of the first year indigo bunting - they always have a mix up of color -cool! How exciting and you did a great job sharing this with us!

Jayne said...

That is just sooooo cool Carolyn! WOW! What a sighting at your feeders. His back is so very beautiful as he molts. Lucky, lucky you!

Dog_geek said...

Cool! That young male does look like an impressionist painting. Beautiful!

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks, everyone. We've become celebrities in the bird watching community. No one else has seen Red Crossbills in the area.

Lynne - Yes, we have very large pine trees loaded with cones this year.

Cheri - Yes, I lived in Boone from age 10 through high school. Back then it was a small college town with Doc Watson singing on the street corner.

RuthieJ said...

Wow, that's so cool Carolyn. I wonder how much longer they'll stay around your feeders?

Leedra said...

Another beautiful bird I have never seen. Thanks for sharing.

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dAwN said...

Very cool...I would love to have those birds at my feeders.