Daily Postcard: Red Crossbill Spotted Near Mountain School

Daily Postcard: A male Red Crossbill is spotted Saturday near Mountain Elementary School on North Road. A fascinating finch of coniferous woodlands, the Red Crossbill forages on nutritious seeds in pine, hemlock, Douglas-fir, and spruce cones. Their specialized bills allow them to break into unopened cones, giving them an advantage over other finch species. Because conifers produce seeds unpredictably, Red Crossbills sometimes wander (or “irrupt”) far beyond their usual range. They nest wherever and whenever they find abundant food, sometimes even in winter. Several types of Red Crossbill exist; they each have different calls, feed on particular conifer species, and might represent distinct species. Source: allaboutbirds.org. Photo by Greg Noeninckx


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