The above image was taken in upper Deeside in mid November. It is clearly a green Pinus sylvestris, and the crossbill has opened the closed scales to get at the seeds inside. Now, if you do this long enough you can, with some degree of confidence, tell the species that depredated the cone. In this case I can go one better ( is thata Tap'ism ?) and say that it was a Scottish Crossbill male that I call Brian who has feasted on this cone. I joke, of course I don't give all them names. That would mean I really was crazy.
Here are some more from last week, notice that the cones are semi-open. It should normally be February before this happens, though I suspect it was a freak tree:
These cones above were created by an interesting mixed group including a Parrot type female (call and visual ID). Only 25 miles from Aberdeen as well ! Got some amazing behavioural stuff from this group, the kind of stuff you can only get by watching them closely in the field or 'arsing it' as the late DNT used to say.
This sample on the other hand, were all created by the same crossbill type, on calls and appearance:
These are closed cones again that the crossbills have had to prise them open. On a cold frosty day as it was this is hard work - it was hard work recording and observing them I nearly passed out with the cold due to hypothermia.
What are the crossbills in your area feeding on ? This, in my opinion, is more important than the type of call they are giving, this year at least.