To find crossbills, you need to know where the cones are
Published: October 21, 2011
Late fall and winter is the time many birdwatchers seek out Evening and Pine Grosbeaks, redpolls, Pine Siskin, and other nomadic visitors from the north, a group known as the winter finches.
CONEHEAD: White-winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, January 3, 2009, at 10:45 a.m., by Daniel Cadieux
White-winged Crossbill, the bird photographed here, is one of them. A regular wanderer, it flies across the boreal forests in search of conifer cone crops, and occasionally it ventures outside its normal range, which encompasses much of Canada and a few northern states. These movements, called irruptions, can make for exciting birdwatching.
Daniel Cadieux lives in Ottawa, Ontario, within the crossbill’s usual range. On January 3, 2009, he went to seek out the birds, and found them. When the male started to feed close by and at eye level, Cadieux snapped many pictures, but this one — because of its clean background, the great head angle, and nice perch — is his favorite.
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, handheld
Lens: Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
Settings: ISO 400, 1/640, f/7.1, aperture priority, -0.3 exposure compensation
Adjustments: RAW file converted to TIFF in Photoshop Lightroom. TIFF file converted to JPG in Photoshop CS2.
Meet the photographer
CROSSBILL FINDER: Photographer Daniel Cadieux is a member of the forums on our website. (You can be a member, too. Registering is free and easy.) When he’s not taking pictures of birds around his home in Ottawa, Ontario, he keeps busy working for Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.