I found some Common Crossbills on my walk in Grímsnes, South Iceland, last week. One male was already singing. In the last few years the Common Crossbills have started breeding in spruce and pine forests in February although it is still winter.
It will be interesting to see if this will also be the case this winter. We will be keeping an eye on them.
This Common Crossbill pair was here in the beginning of summer with three chicks. They are in the garden again, now with two other chicks. Early in the morning they come to eat the sunflower seeds that we put out for our feathered friends. These former vagrants have in the past six to seven years made Iceland their home.
In the lack of daylight in the last few weeks photographing birds in the garden has been difficult. Now the days are getting longer and it’s easier to get good photoes. Today I managed to take two rather nice photoes, if I say so myself, of a Common Crossbill and a Redpoll.
The birdlife in the garden has been very lively today.
This is a list of today’s birds:
We found this Common Crossbill, or Red Crossbill as they are called in USA, in the top a Pine tree, silhouetted against a beautifully bright blue sky. There is nothing common about its bright orange colour but the Crossbill comes in colours ranging from yellow to red.
The Crossbill’s favourite food is seeds from Spruce and Pine cones. In the latter part of the last century Spruce and Pine trees have been planted and are now in full growth in many places throughout the country.
It’s 13 days to Christmas and this Common Crossbill in its yellow colours is so beautiful in the snow. The Common Crossbill is well adapted to the cold winter and you can almost say that it is nesting time all year round for them. This is probably a female bird rather than a yellow male. Males are more often in orange-red colours.
After four weeks the Crossbills are back. The weather is colder and it snowed yesterday. –Wonderful to have these colourful birds back. We also have more Redpolls, they have now multiplied in numbers and there are probably around one hundred in the trees and on the ground outside our living room window.
Common Crossbills are new breeding birds in Iceland. New spruce and pine forests are growing fast in many places in Iceland and are now big enough to be a habitat for some new settlers like the Crossbills.
They are regular birds in my garden and I feed them on sunflower seeds. This pair was in a group of seven Crossbills coming to the feeding place this beautiful Sunday morning.