Signs of nib­bling

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your Birding Month -

Many birds are great nib­blers; us­ing their bills to ex­tract some morsel or other from the heart of a seed­head, fruit, nut, or cone. The left­overs and de­tri­tus can pro­vide tell-tale clues as to which type of bird has pro­duced them. Here are a few ex­am­ples of ev­i­dence of par­tic­u­lar birds eat­ing par­tic­u­lar plants.

Great Tit: neat holes pecked in acorns Cross­bill: cones stripped with split scales, pressed out­wards Finches: rose hips opened up to re­veal cen­tres Black­bird: wind­fall ap­ple eaten from the in­side, leav­ing ring of skin Nuthatch (also Great Spot­ted Wood­pecker): hazel­nuts jammed into bark and ham­mered open

Hazel­nuts jammed in bark and ham­mered by a Nuthatch or Great Spot­ted Wood­pecker

Cone stripped by Cross­bill

Wind­fall ap­ple nib­bled by a thrush, per­haps a Black­bird or Red­wing

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