Red Crossbill

Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
24,488
Location
SW Virginia
This guy came to our feeder yesterday. I thought it was a house finch until I looked carefully at the photo today. Apparently this bird is pretty rare in this area, as one attracted a horde of birders to my neighbor's house across the street several years ago.

1238147277_AdwxL-O.jpg
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Joined
Dec 26, 2010
Messages
5,725
Location
Annapolis
What the heck? Is this normal or is it a birth defect? I never heard of or seen on of these birds. Great catch!
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2009
Messages
1,112
Location
Jacksonville & Melbourne
From allaboutbirds:

A crossbill's odd bill shape helps it get into tightly closed cones. A bird's biting muscles are stronger than the muscles used to open the bill, so the Red Crossbill places the tips of its slightly open bill under a cone scale and bites down. The crossed tips of the bill push the scale up, exposing the seed inside.
 
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