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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 16:37   #1
shorebirder
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Crossbill sp

Have a look at this guys and let me know your thoughs.
Dave
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 16:41   #2
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I would say a Female Common Crossbill comes to mind.
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 17:04   #3
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crossbill sp

Very poor shot of male, only shot I got before they flew off. Thought they looked quiet large billed.
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 17:10   #4
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Looks like a parrot to me.. bill is larger than i'd expect at a common..
Where was it taken??
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 17:11   #5
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bill looks very heavy to me so how about a parrot crossbill
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 17:17   #6
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Taken in North Yorkshire today, unfortunately did not hang around long enough to get better photos. Looked bigger billed than others seen in same area.
Any more comments appreciated.
Dave
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 17:23   #7
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That male looks very big-billed, and I could easily be persuaded that it is a Parrot Crossbill. When and where were the photos taken?

EDIT : I see my question about location was answered while I was posting.
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 18:14   #8
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Originally Posted by shorebirder View Post
Taken in North Yorkshire today, unfortunately did not hang around long enough to get better photos. Looked bigger billed than others seen in same area.
Any more comments appreciated.
Dave
Dave there would be a lot of interest from Yorkshire listers if these are Parrots. Are you able/prepared to be more specific about the location?
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 18:47   #9
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After tripping up myself on birds like this in cumbria, i woud say they are both Common Crossbill, the head shape of a Parrot Crossbill would stand out a mile. Lower mandible seems too long for parrot.
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 20:08   #10
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[quote=eagle33;1119772 i woud say they are both Common Crossbill, the head shape of a Parrot Crossbill would stand out a mile. Lower mandible seems too long for parrot.[/QUOTE]

Agreed, esp the female. Male pic is a bit fuzzy to tell.
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 20:42   #11
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Pro parrot: the upper mandible looks like it is an extension of the crown

Con: the bill is significantly longer than high and the upper mandible extends beyond the lower.

In my mind, overall con beats pro.

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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 20:47   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eagle33 View Post
After tripping up myself on birds like this in cumbria, i woud say they are both Common Crossbill, the head shape of a Parrot Crossbill would stand out a mile. Lower mandible seems too long for parrot.
While it is entirely possible that I am wrong, surely it's more a matter of mandible depth than length? Parrot actually has a slightly longer bill than Common.
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 21:01   #13
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Both are Common types.

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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 21:05   #14
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the bill on the female lacks the bulge on the lower mandible that Parrot shows

Linz, are Parrots not usually a bit 'greyer' too? And with a different (brighter, more crimson?) red?

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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 21:16   #15
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While it is entirely possible that I am wrong, surely it's more a matter of mandible depth than length? Parrot actually has a slightly longer bill than Common.
It may do, but the depth will be proportionate to this (the length) and in parrot tends to give the bill a 'square' appearance.

The male above reminds me of the dubious male bird that I had on my blog some time ago (deleted by hackers !) that quite a few people thought was Scottish, but in fact it was (biggish) Common - in the hand it's bill depth was 11.2mm and it gave Fc4 on release. The culmen was more downcurved than normal for a curvirostra. Photo below.

For me the Yorkie bird's culmen is not nearly downcurved enough for Parrot and is similar to the Deeside bird I refer too. It is worth remembering Dick Forsmans advice on Parrot Crossbill identification in the field - the bill can actually appear small in proportion to the really large head ! I think you too have noted the importance of head size in crossers before Stuart ? I tend to do it on body size in flight - 5-7g is a big difference between Common and Parrot, with scotica more like Common.

To the photographer, if you were that close get some calls - then we will know for sure !

Lindsay
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 21:37   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin View Post
I think you too have noted the importance of head size in crossers before Stuart ? I tend to do it on body size in flight - 5-7g is a big difference between Common and Parrot, with scotica more like Common.

To the photographer, if you were that close get some calls - then we will know for sure !

Lindsay
True Lindsay, but that's in the field, not working from photographs which is an entirely different ball game. It's also been a long time since I got to study any crossbills in detail!
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 21:58   #17
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Thanks for all comments. After looking at several photographs and reading your comments, tend to agree that the females bill shape is perhaps not correct for parrot, not appearing square enough, being rather elongated. Male unfortunately did not come to this side of the mound at all so I could not get better shots. The whole event only lasted maybe a minute so no time to study the birds really. Both flew into nearby tree then 20 seconds later a group of 15-20 crossbills left the trees calling briefly. Windy conditions and brevity meant that calls not heard too well, different calls were audible but nothing too definite to comment on.
Will try again this week to see if birds still around (bit of a needle in a haystack though).

Crossbills (we love em!!!)
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Old Sunday 3rd February 2008, 22:05   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin View Post
The male above reminds me of the dubious male bird that I had on my blog some time ago (deleted by hackers !) that quite a few people thought was Scottish, but in fact it was (biggish) Common - in the hand it's bill depth was 11.2mm and it gave Fc4 on release. The culmen was more downcurved than normal for a curvirostra.
There is a photo of an Fc4 (Glip) in the 'Sound Approach' which seems to have quite a deep bill (similar to the first bird in this thread) which is also referred to in the text.
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Old Monday 4th February 2008, 00:34   #19
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tend to agree that the females bill shape is perhaps not correct for parrot, not appearing square enough, being rather elongated. Male unfortunately did not come to this side of the mound at all so I could not get better shots.....

Crossbills (we love em!!!)
Dave
Dave, OFI what were they doing on when they were on the ground ? Were they drinking or gritting or was the female collecting grass for a nest ?

Here is a really crap piccie of a male Parrot in October 2006 in a similar context just to convince you that yours is not one !

Cheers,


Lindsay
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Old Monday 4th February 2008, 20:43   #20
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female at pond first then picking up possibly grit from heap. No sign of nest material gathering. Hardly saw male as you can gather from photo.
Thanks for responces 'always a learning curve'
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Old Monday 4th February 2008, 21:18   #21
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female at pond first then picking up possibly grit from heap. No sign of nest material gathering. Hardly saw male as you can gather from photo.
Thanks for responces 'always a learning curve'
Dave
Cheers Dave.

At this time of year females will grub about on the ground looking for minerals and bones for calcium - this is what you saw I think.

Check the pic in my second post for comparison with your male. I should add for anyone who is concerned about the ethics of the photograph that this is not a 'trophy' shot. We are collating profiles of all crossbills that are caught, side on with the tip showing, in order to build up a comprehensive database of images of birds of known biometrics ( and calls). I am offering this photo here in a educational context.

The hold that the bird is in is known as the ringers grip - it is secure, safe and comfortable for the bird and is the same as used by vets when handling small birds.

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Old Monday 4th February 2008, 21:31   #22
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the bill on the female lacks the bulge on the lower mandible that Parrot shows

Linz, are Parrots not usually a bit 'greyer' too? And with a different (brighter, more crimson?) red?
Hiya Tim,

I believe the colour of crossbills plumage is primarily dependant on what pigments they absorb in their food. In Scotland, Parrot males tend to be a 'dusky' grey-orange in breeding plumage. Commons are more 'red', often pillar box. Scottish, in my experience can be either, but mainly orangey, possibly as they will feed on Sitka and Scots Pine depending on location and availability ?

This is confused further by young birds that are in the various stages of moulting to full adult plumage - hence the 'golden cocks' ( don't google it ! ). I actually had a singing 'golden cock' Scottish Crossbill last April in a native pinewood - got the Ec's, Fc's and song so a stonewaller........but if I didn't know the calls (and verify them from a recording) I'd have said it was a 'Common' -it must have been scoffing sitka all Winter ! ( last year was a bumper Sitka crop).


Linz
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Old Tuesday 5th February 2008, 20:50   #23
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Old Wednesday 6th February 2008, 22:20   #24
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Wow. both common crossbill Hannu?
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Old Wednesday 6th February 2008, 22:31   #25
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One of each innit?.
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