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Gritting Crossbill


Posted by ADKShooter on Fri Jan 21, 2022 5:50 pm

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Nikon D500, Nikon 500mm F5.6 pf
ISO 400, 1/1,000s, F7.1

As a follow up to Jeff Nadler's fine image of a Red Crossbill, he mentioned them gritting.  This is an image of that behavior where they scoop up grit and salt from roadsides with their beaks and tongue in the Winter to help with their digestive system. Pine seeds make up a majority of their food in Winter and it is a difficult food to break down and gritting helps them to succeed in doing this.

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by jnadler on Fri Jan 21, 2022 7:56 pm
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Thanks for the follow up Warren.  
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by Karl Egressy on Fri Jan 21, 2022 9:07 pm
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Excellent behavior image.
 

by paul fletcher on Fri Jan 21, 2022 9:31 pm
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An interesting image of behaviour, Warren- nice colours and patterns, from the grit and salt setting.
 

by Cindy Marple on Fri Jan 21, 2022 9:47 pm
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What a great behavior capture! Really shows what's going on. Nice light as well, the little bit of sparkles in the ground give it some extra life and texture.
 

by david fletcher on Sat Jan 22, 2022 1:58 am
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Great sighting Warren. Interesting follow up and behaviour captured. Well spotted.
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by Cynthia Crawford on Sat Jan 22, 2022 6:33 am
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Great shot of this behavior. Really nice light. I always wonder if road salt is harmful to birds-they must get a lot of it in the winter.
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by gregc on Sat Jan 22, 2022 7:14 am
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Great image of the behaviour, and the details on the head.
 

by Carol Clarke on Sat Jan 22, 2022 7:51 am
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They have the perfectly adapted beak to strip the pine cones, but it can't be easy for them to do anything else with it - your excellent behaviour capture shows it really working the tongue to get the grit. Well spotted and taken, Warren!

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by Axel Hildebrandt on Sat Jan 22, 2022 1:06 pm
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Great capture of this behavior, I hope some of them will make it a bit farther south, it's been years that I have seen them here.
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by ADKShooter on Sat Jan 22, 2022 2:39 pm
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Axel Hildebrandt wrote:
Great capture of this behavior, I hope some of them will make it a bit farther south, it's been years that I have seen them here.


They do seem to be heading south this year.  Look for them near Norway or White Pine tree plantations.  They normally grit for a couple of hours in the morning but not so much in the afternoon.
 

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