Sunday, September 16, 2012

Crossbills

This is a White-winged Crossbill. (Thanks to Glances at Nature blog for the photo.) This is a specialist, with a bill equipped to pry apart the scales of pine cones to get at the seeds. It is a bird of the northern boreal forests, which are at least 400 miles north of Lanesboro. As I have observed in the past, birds can't read. At least maps. There is a loose flock of maybe a dozen which work the plentiful large spruce, fir and white pines up on Church Hill. For whatever reason - soil, genetics, light - the spruces on Church Hill set incredible crops of cones. These quite large spruce trees are to the north and south of  our deck at the cottage.


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