4 comment(s) posted

Add a comment    Print report

Comments (most recent towards the top):

2023-03-12 at 09:46 - comment by SteveR

On our week at Campbell Icefield recently, there were large flocks of crossbills hanging around near treeline feasting on spruce cones. I also noted some with a yellow coloration, and thought they were grosbeaks until a birder in our group ID'd them. Despite them being quite unconcerned about our presence, I failed in getting a decent picture.

2023-03-11 at 20:43 - comment by DEMOCRATIZE AB

Skier Roger and Pizza Eating Skier Chuck,

I think you guys might be right about the birds that I sighted being White winged Crossbills rather than Pine Grosbeaks. The males look similar. There is not a lot of genetic difference in term of looks. Thanks for your bird knowledge or shall I say bird brain knowledge. It is hard to identify these critters when one lacks the knowledge about these dissidents of the dinosaurs.

This website shows the Crossbills:

The male in the website photos seems pretty much bang on from my memory. The female photo however still lacks the intense deep gold color but the photo does not show the chest area. I was really impressed with the golden female. She had a golden luster.

I am not sure why they are called White Wing Crossbills because they only have that strip of white on the wings as shown in the above website picture.

I also saw some birds that had no colors. Perhaps these were immature Crossbills.

The following website says the females breed at any time of the year as long as there is enough food. You can hear what they sound like on this website: https://ebird.org/species/whwcro

Better yet, ski to Stoney Warden Cabin and listen to them on a nice day. Bring some pizza. MMMM pizza. Coco Brooks makes a pretty good Spinach Grande pizza.

2023-03-11 at 17:07 - comment by Chuck

Most likely they are Red Crossbills. They are in abundance now. Males are Red. Females are Yellow.

2023-03-11 at 16:51 - comment by SkierRoger

Good post Mr Democracy.

I had an interesting chat with Todd this week at PLPP. He said he saw a whole group of crossbills near the Pocaterra hut on Wednesday. Just fascinating.

I wish I knew more about that stuff…


Report Submitted by DEMOCRATIZE AB
(trip) Date: Saturday Mar 11, 2023

Submitted: Saturday Mar 11, 2023 at 14:46




When I skied up to Stoney Creek Warden cabin up the Cascade Valley trail on Thursday, there were a lot of birds there making a racket.

I am not a bird expert but I believe they were Pine Gosbeaks along with others. https://birdwatchinghq.com/red-birds-in-alberta/

What blew me away about one of them was that it had a stunning golden chest similar to the golden color on the rump of the female in the photo on the above website link. What I assume were male birds had very deep red covering on most of the bird other than the wings and tail. Both of these birds had somewhat narrow beaks that curved down slightly. The beaks looked different from the photos in the links. They seemed longer and narrower.

These birds were enjoying the sun of the near mid afternoon and were also flying into the grass below the cabin soffits. They were not very shy unless I made movements or sounds. They did not like me sniffing air through my nose.

If you are skiing up that way bring a camera if you dig birds as the golden chested one was very spectacular in the lighting of the afternoon sitting on the rails of the cabin. This could be a bird photo of the year potentially.

There is a potential genetic golden color alteration or mutation of the Pine Gosbeak at the Stoney Creek Warden cabin.

Ski on in the Naturehood and keep it natural.


Contact me and advertise your business....

Traffic Counter