RED CROSSBILLS by Sandy Stewart


A flock of eighteen or more Red-Crossbills were hanging out on my parent’s property when a male ( orange to yellow shades) and female ( yellow) landed fairly close on a branch where I managed to capture them.

A Crossbill’s odd shaped bill helps it get into tightly closed cones. Their biting muscles are stronger than the muscles used to open the bill, so the Red Crossbill places the tips of its slightly open bill under a cone scale and bites down. The crossed tips of the bill push the scale up, exposing the seed inside.
The Red Crossbill is so depend upon conifer seeds it even feeds them to its young. Consequently, it can breed any time if finds a sufficiently large cone crop, even in the depths of winter.


Taken on May 12/13 on south Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada
Camera, Canon 7D
Lens, Canon Ef100-400mm L IS USM lens.
Tripod, Manfrotto, including 498RC2 Ballhead.
Taken at 1/500’s at f/7.1 at – 1/3 Ev, 375mm, iso 800, man white bal. Edited in Lightroom. No cropping.


  • Steve Randall
    Steve Randallalmost 2 years ago

  • Thank you so much Steve! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • AnnDixon
    AnnDixonalmost 2 years ago

    Natures Paintbrush Group
    Beautiful Work

  • Thank you so kindly Ann. : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • Raider6569
    Raider6569almost 2 years ago

    A great opportunity to view a special species up close and see a lot of detail. Wonderful texture in this image. Nice shot.

  • Thank you so kindly Dave! : )

    – Sandy Stewart

  • Magriet Meintjes
    Magriet Meintjesalmost 2 years ago

    2013805/17 1 image per day

  • dgscotland
    dgscotlandalmost 2 years ago

    Posers :-)

    Clicking the banner takes you to the group….please enjoy it.

  • BigD
    BigDalmost 2 years ago

  • Kanages Ramesh
    Kanages Rameshalmost 2 years ago

    View GALLERY Here

  • TeresaB
    TeresaBalmost 2 years ago

    May 18, 2013

    Beautiful work!

  • Gabrielle  Lees
    Gabrielle Leesalmost 2 years ago

    Really gorgeous Sandy! WOW I didn’t know there were birds that actually have beaks that grow like this. I’ve seen it on a chicken but it was deformed! How cool!

    Gabe :)

  • Rose Vanderstap
    Rose Vanderstapalmost 2 years ago


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