There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Red Crossbill

Loxia curvirostra 

Stocky finch
Thick, curved bill with crossed tip
Long, pointed blackish brown wings
Short, notched, blackish brown tail
     Brick red to reddish-yellow head and body
     No wingbars
Female: (photographed)
     Uniformly olive or grayish plumage
     Greenish or greenish-yellow chest and rump
     No wingbars
     Gray-brown back tinged with pale green
     Heavy dark streaks on whitish chest
     Yellowish rump with dark streaks
     Thin, buffy wingbars

Listen to its call.

This adult female Red Crossbill caused a few smiles last week as it was a first for the banding station. The age of the bird was determined by its wrinkled brood patch. This is a patch of featherless skin that is visible on the underside of birds during the nesting season.

Learn more about the Red Crossbill.

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