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Boreal Community Media

Photo of the week with local photographer Paul Sundberg: Red Crossbills

Mar 25, 2024 12:44PM ● By Content Editor

Main image: Boreal Community Media 

By Paul Sundberg - March 19, 2024

 Photo used with permission by Paul Sundberg

A neighbor let me know that they had red crossbills coming to their feeder for several days. That is one of the birds that I haven’t photographed before. There were several dozen in the area so it was fun to watch them fill the trees and flock down to the feeder in large numbers to eat the sunflower seeds. The male is very colorful. Their strange but specialized crossed beak enables them to extract seeds from cones which are their main food source. The crossed mandibles give them the leverage to be able to efficiently separate the scales of the conifer cones and then reach in with their tongue to remove the seed.  They are pretty nomadic and go wherever conifer cones are available. So, you don’t see them very often.

To see more of Paul's photos, visit his website here. 

To learn more about Paul, read our exclusive 'Meet Your Cook County Neighbor' interview with him here.

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