[Tweeters] out of area - Cassia Crossbills in Idaho

David Poortinga dpoortinga at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 13 21:02:41 PDT 2017

Taking advantage of some unexpectedly free days earlier this week, decided to head to the South Hills of south-central Idaho to try for Cassia Crossbill, newly split from Red Crossbill. I found this webpage to be very helpful for deciding where to go and for identification tips, including recordings of the call: https://idahobirds.net/birding-idaho/cassia-crossbill/. The crossbills were easy to find, almost the first thing heard after stepping out of the car at Diamondfield Jack parking area. Good views were had there as well. The bill does appear massive on these birds. Also saw the crossbills at a couple other spots very nearby: Pike Mountain Camp and Balsom Loop. Here are the eBird checklists for the three locations, the first with photos (note that until eBird does its next taxonomic update, the Cassia Crossbills will show up as Type 9 Red Crossbills):

The area is very beautiful and about an hour's drive from Twin Falls, and the road is paved the whole way. Would have been nice to try some of the recommended spots in the Albion Mountains as well, but did not have time. Highly recommend going for this bird!

David Poortinga
Arlington, WA
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