Birding in British Columbia

A starting place for birding information for British Columbia, Canada. This web site features a birders discussion forum, links to birding newsgroups, articles and book reviews, checklists, regional hotspots, photo gallery, weather reports, and visiting birder information.
It is currently Feb 24 6:48 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Observational Photo
PostPosted: Feb 14 5:18 pm 
Offline
Senior Member

Joined: Jul 07 2:34 pm
Posts: 888
Location: Vancouver
This photo illustrates something I noticed a few years ago. Namely, Crossbills' bills are not invarient. That is, some cross with the upper mandible to the left and some to the right.

The photo below shows one of each. Female and male Red Crossbills from Point Roberts where a flock has overwintered the past few years.


Image

_________________
MikeDB
http://www.flickr.com/photos/birdbug3/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Observational Photo
PostPosted: Feb 14 7:12 pm 
Offline
Veteran Member
User avatar

Joined: Aug 19 1:54 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Delta
That is interesting. So, do they start off "straight" and as they grow too long, the direction is basically a flip of the coin?

_________________
My (Fledgling) BC Birds Site
-- If you see that I have misidentified anything, please let me know...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Observational Photo
PostPosted: Feb 15 6:24 am 
Offline
Senior Member
User avatar

Joined: Aug 05 12:03 pm
Posts: 1991
Location: north shore
some people are left-handed and some right-handed.
I imagine this bill preference is similar.

_________________
Paul Kusmin
http://punkbirdr.photo
http://www.flickr.com/photos/revs45
http://45revs.blogspot.com

Digital (photo) Life List:
292 birds B.C. / 446 birds N.A. / 1020 birds World (including NA)


Hey you kids, no pishing the Mountain chickadees!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Observational Photo
PostPosted: Feb 20 12:05 am 
Offline
Senior Member

Joined: Nov 10 11:35 pm
Posts: 594
Location: Courtenay
Paul Kusmin, my thoughts exactly.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Observational Photo
PostPosted: Feb 20 9:42 am 
Offline
Senior Member

Joined: Jul 07 2:34 pm
Posts: 888
Location: Vancouver
I noticed on a recent TV documentary a comment that almost all Parrots are "left-footed". That is, when holding an item to work with their bills, they use their left foot.

For the Crossbills, my suspicion is that their "handedness" is linked to their eating habits too. It may be that if all the birds had the same side for their upper mandible, some food items would not be taken. That is, a greater population of Crossbills may be sustained for a given food supply when some are "right-billed" and some are "left-billed".

_________________
MikeDB
http://www.flickr.com/photos/birdbug3/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Observational Photo
PostPosted: Feb 20 11:21 am 
Offline
Veteran Member

Joined: Jan 10 9:30 am
Posts: 84
How interesting!. A species of small shorebird from New Zealand has a bill that curves sideways - here is what Wikipedia says about it:

The wrybill or (in Māori) ngutuparore (Anarhynchus frontalis) is a species of plover endemic to New Zealand.[2] It is special since it is the only species of bird in the world with a beak that is bent sideways one way, always to the right (in the Crossbills eg. Loxia pytyopsittacus the tips of the upper and lower mandibles cross because they are bent sideways in opposite directions, sometimes left over right and sometimes the other way).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Observational Photo
PostPosted: Feb 21 4:55 pm 
Offline
Senior Member
User avatar

Joined: Jul 27 7:58 pm
Posts: 1570
Interesting. Thank you for sharing the photo and observations.

_________________
Neal Doan, Abbotsford, B.C.
Bird Blog: http://nealsbirdblog.blogspot.ca
Lighthouse Blog: http://nealslighthouses.blogspot.ca
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/44904157@N04/


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group