Please consider emailing photographs of banded Cassia Crossbills to Craig Benkman
If you are in the South Hills and photograph a banded crossbill, and you can see both legs and the direction to which the lower mandible crosses (half of the birds have lower mandibles that cross to the right and half to the left), then this would be useful for our studies on annual survival. I will also tell you about the history of this bird and whether it is a Cassia Crossbill if you didn’t hear it call. Please include the date and location of the photograph too. Below are some examples of crossbills that were photographed in 2017.
The bird photographed below by Jim Dewitt (Frozen Feather Images) on 27 October 2017 on the road to Pike Mountain was initially captured as an after-second-year bird in June 2015 (hatched in 2013 or earlier). His lower mandible crosses to the left, on his left leg is a white band over a green band, and on his right leg is a Fish &Wildlife band anodized blue. We recaptured him once in 2016, but not in 2017, so now we know this bird was alive but eluded capture. This bird is at least 4 years old. We’ve caught a few individuals that were 8 years old, which is apparently the maximum age for a Red Crossbill in captivity.
Below is a photograph taken by Michael Lester at Porcupine Springs on 27 August 2017. This male has a lower mandible that crosses to the right, on his left leg is a blue Fish & Wildlife band, and on his right leg is a split purple-white band over a green band. This individual was initially captured in 2015 as an after-second-year bird (like the bird above, he hatched in 2013 or earlier), and has been recaptured every year since. He is 4 or more years old.
Below is photograph of a male taken by Mike West near Diamondfield Jack on 22 July 2017. The bird has a lower mandible crossing to his right, on his left leg is a silver Fish & Wildlife band, and on his right leg is a white-black split band over a green band. I can see only the black part of the top band on the right leg in the photograph, but the only bands we use with black are half white and half black. This bird was first caught in June 2017 as a second-year bird (hatched in 2016).
Craig Benkman email