[Ontbirds] Guelph--White-winged Crossbill - Preservation Park

Brandon Edwards brandon.edwards144 at gmail.com
Sun Jan 21 14:43:49 EST 2018

Hi everyone,

Wanted to get the word out about a white-winged crossbill I came across in Preservation Park, Guelph, ON. A flock of ~20 Pine Siskins flew in from the north and landed in some conifers just off the trail. Of this very vocal group, 2 American Goldfinches could be picked out, as well as the song from at least one white-winged crossbill. Here is what I entered on eBird:

"Observed at 1400 EST.

Mixed in with flock of about 20 pine siskins and 2 American goldfinches. I heard this flock fly in from the north and land in the middle of the park just off a trail.

If we break up the white winged crossbill song, we have two distinct parts: a rapid trill and a slower whistle that's verging on a slow trill. With the multitudes of pine siskins calling/singing, it was hard to pick out the rapid trills. What COULD be picked out was the slower whistles/trill in between, where it was almost a constant pitch but a very slight decrease. Roughly 4-6 of these notes per second. These slower trills allowed for roughly one second in between which would be when the bird was doing its rapid trill but being drowned out by pine siskins. This song was very distinctive among the siskins and goldfinches."

I have since lost the flock as something caused it to go completely silent and then fly off. I will keep my ears and eyes peeled as I continue to walk the trails here over the next little bit.

To get to preservation park from the 401:
Take highway 6 north toward Guelph until Kortright road. Turn right onto Kortright. Continue until Edinburgh road, then turn right on Edinburgh. Continue a small way and then turn right onto Rodgers Road (near the storm pond). Park on the road where you can and the trail entrance is just off Rodgers Road.

Good birding!

Brandon Edwards

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