Episode Information

A Crossbill's Beak Does the Job
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The Red Crossbill's crossed bill allows it to forage for food in a unique way.


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2:00 minutes (1.6 MB)
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A close look at a Red Crossbill reveals a curious adaptation. The long tips of the upper and lower bill don't meet, but instead cross over each other. The bills of young birds are not crossed at hatching, but cross as they grow. The Red Crossbill bites between the scales of a cone and pries them apart by opening its bill, then dislodges the seed with its tongue.

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