Spruce and pine trees, during the last couple of years in our area, have produced noticeably few cones. Why is this important? Well, to most folks it’s not. But to birders it means a small number of species which rely heavily upon cone seeds have been scarce as well. In particular, I’m talking about red crossbills, white-winged crossbills, and to a certain extent pine grosbeaks.
There might be good news on the horizon however. After looking at a number of spruce trees over the last couple of weeks, I think it’s safe to say we just might be preparing a banquet feast for the northern finches.
I’ll wait for Mr. Pittiway’s definitive “winter finch forecast” before anticipating any influxes. But thus far the evidence is compelling.