Which bird breeds chicks in winter?
Not so many birds breed in the fierce cold. Unless penguins, but on their snowy continent it is always cold, so they simply have no other options. But in our forests, too, there are brave extreme birds. Let's find out who breeds chicks in the winter and why this happens.
Who is cross?
There is a feathery inhabitant in coniferous forests - a bird of crossbill. This bird is larger than the sparrow, but smaller than the starling. This bird is unique. The fact is that crossbill breeds chicks in the winter. This fact is surprising, but there is an explanation to this fact. And the explanation is that crossbreeds feed on the seeds of cones, often spruce, but pine and fir are also suitable for them. By the way, that is why the beak of a crossbill has such an unusual cruciform shape: it is very convenient to extract seeds from cones with the help of such a beak!
"Spruce porridge" for kids
Nestlings of their crossbreds are fed with “spruce porridge” - seeds of spruce cones, which adult birds in their beak crush and moisten with saliva.And the chicks during the day eat such a "porridge" a lot! In coniferous forests, cones ripen just in the cold, which is why crossbreeds hatch chicks in winter. At other times of the year, when there is no such number of ripened seeds, the kids will simply have nothing to feed!
Crossbones - selfless parents
In anticipation of offspring, crossbills arrange a cozy nest in spruce branches, warming it from the inside with soft materials: moss, wool, their feathers and down. In this nest the female lays from 3 to 5 eggs and incubates for two weeks. At this time, it feeds Papa-crossbill. Kids hatch quite helpless, parents help them survive: mom warms them with warmth, dad brings food.
Parents have long enough to feed their babies. First, because they are small and do not know how to fly. Secondly, their beaks are still straight, and you cannot obtain seed from a cone with such a beak. Over time, the kids grow up, stand on the wing, their beaks become cruciform and they become completely independent. Thanks to the spruce cones, which, ripening for the winter, enable the chicks to survive and gain strength!
So we found out who breeds chicks in the winter and why in winter, not in summer,like the rest of the birds. The rest of the birds need insects to feed their offspring, which, of course, cannot be found in the winter. But butterfly flystrips are not needed, give them bumps!