|Male White-winged Crossbill. © SB|
High in the February firs, small flashes of red bob around masses of cones.
Birds — White-winged Crossbills — pecking cones apart in search of seeds.
The bright red males are much easier to spot than either the olive/yellow females or the pale orange-spattered immature males, both of which blend in well with the colours of the trees.
Get close, if you can, and look at their beaks. Yes, they cross — the better to pry open pine and fir cones.
I thought it odd that these northern red birds were called white...
But there are also Red Crossbills, without the white streaks on their wings, so it's the white that distinguishes this species.
|Male White-winged Crossbill, walking down a fir cone. © SB|
|Pink/orange mottled immature male White-winged Crossbill. © SB|
|Gray-green female White-winged Crossbill. © SB|
|White-winged Crossbill at the very top of a tree. © SB|
What are these? White-winged Crossbills.
Location: Near Muenster, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Photo dates: Late February, 2013.