Gritting Crossbill

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

All times are UTC - 5 hours

Reply to topic  
 First unread post  | 11 posts | 
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.

Please click for higher resolution.

Posted by:
Forum Contributor
Location: Gloversville, NY
Member #:02167
Posts: 2560
Joined: 05 Aug 2020


by jnadler on Fri Jan 21, 2022 7:56 pm
Forum Contributor
Posts: 6911
Joined: 06 Oct 2003
Location: New York State
Thanks for the follow up Warren.  
Jeff Nadler
Jeff Nadler Nature Photography
Moose-loons-325 bird species-Adirondacks

by Karl Egressy on Fri Jan 21, 2022 9:07 pm
User avatar
Karl Egressy
Forum Contributor
Posts: 36915
Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Member #:00988
Excellent behavior image.

by paul fletcher on Fri Jan 21, 2022 9:31 pm
paul fletcher
Forum Contributor
Posts: 1523
Joined: 26 Feb 2018
Member #:02174
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
User avatar
Cindy Marple
Posts: 29448
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Member #:00038
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
User avatar
david fletcher
Posts: 28815
Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Location: UK
Member #:00525
Great sighting Warren. Interesting follow up and behaviour captured. Well spotted.
Make your life spectacular!

by Cynthia Crawford on Sat Jan 22, 2022 6:33 am
User avatar
Cynthia Crawford
Posts: 18185
Joined: 10 Jun 2006
Location: Vermont
Member #:00733
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.
Cynthia (Cindy) Crawford-Moderator, Photo & Digital Art
web site: http://www.creaturekinships.net
"If I Keep a Green Bough in My Heart, the Singing Bird Will Come"  Chinese Proverb

by gregc on Sat Jan 22, 2022 7:14 am
Forum Contributor
Posts: 616
Joined: 20 Feb 2021
Location: Far North Queensland
Member #:22123
Great image of the behaviour, and the details on the head.

by Carol Clarke on Sat Jan 22, 2022 7:51 am
User avatar
Carol Clarke
Chief Forum Administrator
Posts: 68293
Joined: 22 Aug 2003
Location: Lincolnshire, UK. In tune with Nature.
Member #:00067
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!

Carol Clarke
Chief Forum Administrator.

"When the power of love is greater than the love of power,
the world will know peace"....Jimi Hendrix.


by Axel Hildebrandt on Sat Jan 22, 2022 1:06 pm
User avatar
Axel Hildebrandt
Forum Contributor
Posts: 18006
Joined: 28 Nov 2005
Location: Coopersburg, PA
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.
Axel Hildebrandt

by ADKShooter on Sat Jan 22, 2022 2:39 pm
Forum Contributor
Posts: 2560
Joined: 05 Aug 2020
Location: Gloversville, NY
Member #:02167
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.

Display posts from previous:  Sort by:  
11 posts | 

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group