Sunday, 2 October 2016

Crossbills at Flouch

A couple of days ago at Flouch I had two groups of Crossbill feeding in the conifers. One group had 3 males, a female and 2 juveniles and interestingly, the female was feeding the juveniles. Reading up on this, it appears that food availability can change breeding times during the year and occasionally birds will breed in July/August. Also, juveniles can still be fed by adults up to 6 weeks after fledging until the mandibles start to cross and they can then extract seed from the cones, so these juveniles left the nest somewhere between now and the end of August? There are very few cones on the Scots Pines so birds are moving around the Spruce cones (as image).
Late breeding at Flouch or incoming birds??

Juvenile Crossbill being fed by female on Spruce seed (poor image due to distance) Geoff Carr

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