The White-winged Crossbill is a very erratic winter invader into southern Ontario.
With their specially adapted “cross bills”, these birds feed on conifer cone seeds from hemlocks and spruces. They will feed on the tougher pine cone seeds if necessary.
Crossbills are almost never seen away from coniferous trees.
Species list: mute swan, Canada goose, mallard, American black duck, gadwall, long-tailed duck, common merganser, bufflehead, ring-billed gull, belted kingfisher, black-capped chickadee, American robin, common redpoll, white-winged crossbill. (14 species)
As usual at Ashbridges Bay, the Chickadees were anxious to take seeds from our hands:
I received these photos of a Northern saw-whet Owl taken recently at Col. Sam Smith Park. I am not sure who the photographer was.
Saw-whets are about 8 inches in height.
As imperceptibly as Grief
The Summer lapsed away—
Too imperceptible at last,
To seem like Perfidy—
A Quietness distilled
As Twilight long begun
Or Nature spending with herself
The Dusk drew earlier in—
The Morning foreign shone—
A courteous, yet harrowing Grace,
As Guest, that would be gone—
And thus, without a Wing
Or service of a Keel
Our Summer made her light escape
Into the Beautiful. – Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886)