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MWC Eco-brief: Diversity at the Birdfeeder

Bird feeders loaded with different types of seed will attract everyday beauties as well as rarities. A white-winged crossbill and dickcissel graced my feeders this winter. Rather than buying a seed mix full of filler millet and milo, I mix white proso millet into a prepackaged blend of black-oil sunflower, peanuts, and dried fruit. The crossbill comes from boreal forests where it extracts seed from pine cones with it's specialized beak. The dickcissel, a species in decline due to habitat destruction, can be found in Midwest grasslands during the breeding season, but usually doesn't over winter. 

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