In this year of invasion of Crossbills, many birders are out seeking them.  Some are looking for their life look (first sighting) of any crossbill.  Others are seeking different populations, hoping to detect more than one of the recognized sub-species (possibly separate species).

Whatever the nature of your pursuit of crossbills, consider a whole suite of sites to search that you may not have thought about:  TOWERSITES.

Throughout the southern half of Missouri, there are numerous tower sites (some still have towers) built to watch for forest fires.  Nearly all of them have stands of pines surrounding the base of the tower (or the concrete left from the tower)--many of which are separate from any other pines in the vicinity.  Most of these are easy to get into.  All of them may host crossbills (and pine warblers, or siskins, or Red-Breasted Nuthatches).

Some of these are featured in Birders' Guides (with directions to the site):

Among them:
Branch Towersite, Camden Co.
Camdenton CSC, Camden Co.
Climax Springs Towersite, Camden Co.
Dixon Towersite, Pulaski Co.
Proctor Towersite, Morgan Co.
Rocky Mount Towersite, Miller Co.

For additional tower sites, you can search the MDC website Conservation Atlas:

Select the county you are interested in, and then the site. 

And please, if you go to one of these sites, as an act of appreciation to the birders who have helped show us the way, enter a trip report into the CACHE/SPARKS database.  If you don't know how to do that, I'll be glad to help.

Go find some crossbills (and maybe even Evening Grosbeaks?)

Edge Wade
ASM Conservation Partnership Coordinator
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Spring Meeting: May 3-5 2013 in St. Joseph, MO
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