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For those of you who might be interested in this "bill-crossing" phenomenon you might like to that a look here: http://www.answers.com/topic/crossbill

Scroll down to "Feeding Behavior"

Larry Lade
Saint Joseph, MO
gcrownkinglet AT yahoo DOT com

--- On Fri, 1/23/09, Larry Lade <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
From: Larry Lade <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Bill Charactertics of Red Crossbills
To: "Post MOBIRDS" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Friday, January 23, 2009, 9:00 AM

I have been able to get some very good looks at the three (3) Red Crossbills. I have noticed that the upper mandible of the male bird crossed over to the bird's left side, while in the females it crosses over to the right side of the birds.

While looking at "All About Birds", a website of Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the three (3) crossbill photos (male, female and juvenile) all show the bills of birds crossing over to the right side of the bird. I believe that I read somewhere, sometime that the  bill of these birds can go it either direction irregardless of whether they are male or female. (I can not remember where I read this though!) So, it seems that there is no connection between the direction the bill goes and the sex of the bird. I probably need to do a little more research on this!

Anyway, it was interesting to be able to see this distinction the the different birds bill charactertics!

Larry Lade
Saint Joseph, MO
gcrownkinglet AT yahoo DOT com
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Spring Meeting: May 1-3, 2009 in Columbia, MO.
http://www.mobirds.org