Thursday, November 8, 2012

Another Red Crossbill type confirmed

Red Crossbill Type 2, Prescott Peninsula, July 28, 2012

Red Crossbill Type 1, Prescott Peninsula, July 28, 2012

Red Crossbill Type 10, Quabbin Park, July 28, 2012

Another post on the ongoing incursion of Red Crossbills and the different ‘types’ involved.  As mentioned in previous post there are at least 10 recognized types of Red Crossbills that may indeed represent ten different species.  The only way to separate the different types involves getting a recording of the birds involved and analyzing the call by looking at sonograms and matching the call to correct sonogram that represents known types of Red Crossbills.  Matt Young at Cornell has been extremely helpful in doing this for me and will assist anyone else who records any Red Crossbills.  See the article regarding this at eBird:  I recently (Nov 4) ran across additional Red Crossbills at Quabbin Park and after analysis by Matt Young at Cornell the bird recorded turned out to be a ‘Type 10” Red Crossbill.  I have now recorded Types 1,2 and 10 at various points at Quabbin this year.  I have oddly not come across any Type 3 yet even though they are a major part of the current incursion and have been recorded in the area by others.  Additional postings on Red Crossbills and their call types can be found here: 

I initially ran across Type 2’s in July and August, Type 1’s in September and now Type 10’s in November.  Given the number of reports of Type 3’s in the area I am bound to run across some of these eventually too.   I have included examples of each call type that I have recorded so far this year.

Winsor Dam at dawn, Nov 8, 2012

Quabbin camera view of Winsor Dam area midday (lots of white caps!), Nov 8, 2012

Satellite image of nor'easter, Nov 8, 2012
In addition I stopped by Winsor Dam briefly on the way to work in the hopes of running across something of interest that was brought in with the latest bout of strong winds.  The conditions on the reservoir resembled the ocean with white caps limiting visibility.  The winds were near constant at 15-20 with gusts into the 30’s with a temperature around freezing which made for some difficult and uncomfortable viewing conditions.  I was able to see a dozen plus gulls that all appeared to be Ring billed Gulls as well as a distant Bald Eagle.  I was unable to find any waterfowl or anything more unusual brought in by the latest storm.

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