Winter Finches — And More?

red crossbill

The good numbers of red crossbills and pine siskins in Nebraska’s Wildcat Hills this past week bode well for a winter of montane visitors to the western Great Plains.

The less than annual presence of Clark’s nutcrackers on the Pine Ridge — we saw more of the species in Nebraska than in South Dakota! — bodes even better.

Clark's nutcracker, Dawes Co., Nebraska

And the three Cassin’s finches at the Wildcat Hills feeders this morning, up from one yesterday, suggest that something truly is happening to our west. Nebraska birders can probably look forward to Steller’s jays, mountain chickadees, and at least two species of rosy finch this winter. Hopeful souls will be on the lookout for new state records of the Woodhouse’s jay, bushtit, canyon towhee….

Good luck!