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Crossbill: Birds of Britain

Posted in Animals, Birds, Nature, Wildlife on Monday, 28 February 2011

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Crossbill. Familiar Wild Birds by W Swaysland

Crossbill. Familiar Wild Birds by W Swaysland

The bills of the finch family are highly adapted to seed-eating; and the crossbill is a specialist among finches. Its bill has crossed tips which can extract the seeds from closed fir cones, a food source which other birds are unable to exploit. Such a unique skill enables this brightly-coloured bird to live almost entirely on conifer seeds. A brood of crossbills consumes about 85,000 of these.

This edited article originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 909 published on 23 June 1979. Click on a picture to find out more about licensing images for commercial or personal/educational use. We are also able to license textual material. Please contact us for details.

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