Pet Bird Species: Cockatiels

May 29, 2006 by  
Filed under Pet Birds

Cockatiels are popular pets for a good reason: they’re an affordable bird with lots of personality.

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Bird Species: Red Crossbills

May 22, 2006 by  
Filed under Features

Red Crossbills are brick-red songbirds that specialize in eating pine-cone seeds. They have an unusual bill- the tips cross over each other, almost as if their bill is overgrown. This shape helps them pry open pine cones, to get the seed inside.

These crossbills are found throughout most of North America (and Europe and Asia too). But one Red Crossbill isn’t the same as another – recent research in North America shows that there may be NINE different types, or subspecies…some suggest they’re actually nine different species.

Each type has a different voice, and a different size. Some crossbills with larger bills like to feed on the large cones of pine trees. Other, smaller crossbills have bills that are better for opening little spruce or hemlock cones. These different kinds of crossbills don’t flock together or mate together, as far as researchers know.

These birds live a very nomadic life. Wherever the pinecone crop is richest, that’s where they’ll migrate to – even if that means heading north in the winter. And, unlike most other songbirds, they’re not restricted to nesting in the summer. If there are more pinecone seeds to eat in winter, they’ll build their nests when the snow is falling.

Bird Watching: Know Your Binoculars!

May 12, 2006 by  
Filed under Features

Bird watching: the most fun you’ll ever have! You don’t need expensive clothes or equipment. You don’t need to travel to some lush jungle in a faraway land. Successful bird watching can start in your own backyard or local park.

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