I’m writing to follow up on my previous requests for observations of
eastern red crossbills feeding on conifers. Given that Christmas Bird Count
season is rapidly approaching, I figured now would be a good time to remind
folks about the types of observations I’m collating as a part of a
multi-year project on crossbill feeding ecology. This is also an
interesting time of year from a crossbill foraging perspective, as this is
when crossbills begin shifting to feeding on conifers other than those they
were feeding on throughout the late summer and early fall.
I’m looking for audio recordings of crossbill calls from the eastern
US/Great Lakes with information on the conifers the birds are feeding on.
The recordings do not have to be made with any advanced equipment – most
phone recordings are sufficient. Pictures of the conifer cones are most
helpful. However, if you are comfortable with conifer identification, notes
on which conifers birds are feeding on are also valuable.
Based on contributions from several folks across the eastern US, I’ve
accumulated over 600 (!) records of eastern red crossbills and the conifers
they’re feeding on. If you’re interested, I’ve posted a little blurb on my
illustrating and describing the preliminary data for type 12, the crossbill
I have the most data for and am most interested in for this project.
Although there are some intriguing patterns in the data so far, describing
the feeding ecology of type 12 and other eastern call types will require
much more data across many seasons and years. So, if you have crossbills
in your area, please consider uploading recordings and conifer information
to eBird. I’ve also created an iNaturalist project (link below) where
observations can be uploaded. If you don’t use eBird or iNaturalist, please
feel free to send me any observations directly.
Thanks a ton for considering my request. Please feel free to reach out with
any questions! Also, please pass this onto anyone you think might be
interested in participating.
Dr. Cody Porter
*iNaturalist project link: *
Project description link: