Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Seeds' nightmares

This is the female Red Crossbill that's been coming into Tim's feeders.
 The bill reminds me of one of those gnarly tropical ants with the huge jaws.  It looks like it has an extra cutting edge to the lower mandible...
...which seems to cleave into the outer shell without anywhere near as much chewing and rotating as does a cardinal or house finch.
By the time the bill is closed the shell is in bits.

These are all shot through a window.  I heard it call once from outside as it flew off into a thicket.  The call sounded level to me which might argue for a Type 1 bird, though my understanding is that most of the ones that irrupted this year were Type 3.  Clearly I should have tried to video-record the bird.

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