05 February 2009

Post holiday decorations in Minnesota's spruce trees

Numerous flocks of white-winged crossbills have migrated south to Minnesota this winter. Hanging from tips of spruce branches, they extract seeds from the cones with bills that cross at the tip.

When they don't want to work as hard, they drop to the ground to do clean up on all the cones felled by their visit. The presence of a sudden amount of fallen spruce cones in the winter is a good indicator that the crossbills have attacked.
Check out this video that shows how the crossbill adaptation works.

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