Yesterday I had the good fortune to spend time in the scenic Mohican area, epicenter of the Greater Mohican Audubon Society and the Mohican Christmas Bird Count. Sometimes I get confused on these events and like to think of them as a Christmas Botany Count. Trees: White Pine, Red Pine, Hemlock, Spruce, Tulip tree, Sycamore, White and Red Oaks, Maples and Box Elders, Beech, Hackberry, Elm ...check... check... check.
CBCs provide an excellent opportunity to continue learning about all of the nature that is around us. Mohican and the Clear Fork River valley has a fabulous array of trees, which produce fruit and seeds: berries, samaras, cones, acorns. And not surprisingly, where you find winter food, or mast as the forestry folks call it, you will find birds. Better yet, if you understand which birds fixate on which fruits- you'll have a better chance of finding them!
Any outing at Mohican is a thrill, but to be out with good friends, Marc Nolls and Jim McCormac made the day extra special- and great views of White-winged Crossbills were the icing on the cake. Pretty sweet icing at that!
Jim McCormac is one of the finest birders and botanist about and his amazing gift for teaching makes any field trip twice the fun, so we'll leave the story of the connection between crossbills and conifers to his gifted pen. Be sure to follow the side-bar link to Jim's blog.
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