Dear Birders,
We've done a great job this winter recording Red Crossbill calls and adding
them to Vermont eBird checklists. We've found the following types in VT
this winter:

1. Red Crossbill (Sitka Spruce or type 10) -
2. Red Crossbill (Western Hemlock or type 3) -
3. Red Crossbill (Douglas-fir or type 4) - FIRST state record for VT!

Check out the note below that Tim and Matt asked me to share with you.
We've got a lot more we can do to help solve the Red Crossbill enigma!


Hi all,

Red and White-winged Crossbills are still making a good showing in Vermont
and New Hampshire; the birds are in smaller numbers in Massachusetts but
can still be found. Check out the map on eBird at

Crossbills of both species can nest just about any time of the year, and
there is some indication that they may be nesting in the northeast soon.
Rather surprisingly, it appears there is enough seed left in white pines
and red spruces for the birds to use these for nesting. Also, birds are
using Norway Spruces possibly for nesting. And at some point there's likely
a shift to red and pitch pine, and a further push to Norway Spruce, but we
are unsure when that will happen. Right now, if any observers note any
pairing behavior, please provide this information in your eBird checklist.
Further, if you can get recordings of both birds giving flight calls this
would be great. The scientific motivation is to see if any mixed flight
call types will pair up, and how often this happens. Just last weekend a
tentative mixed pair of crossbills was recorded, but the vast majority of
pairs have been of the same flight call type.

We'd also appreciate any observations of what either species is feeding on

Lastly, there are at least 3 flight call types present right now in Vermont
and New Hampshire: Type 1, Type 3, and Type 10, so we definitely need
recordings to make sure we get the proper flight call type in the checklist.

If anyone has any questions, please contact me (Matt) off list.

Thanks & good birding!

Tim Spahr and Matt Young ([log in to unmask])