Caught by the River

Matt's Bird of the Week – Crossbill

Matt Sewell | 25th February 2014


Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) Words and picture by Matt Sewell.

My maths teacher used to ask me how I would tell jokes with no teeth. Likewise with this chap, how’s he going to sing with crossed chops? Not very well, is the answer on both occasions.

The Crossbill is a Scandinavian Alpine Finch, a winter visitor that has taken up residency in the arboreal beauty spots of Scotland and northern England. His beak is designed like a twisty corkscrew for popping pine kernels and not for serenading the green lady Crossbills, so his vocal repertoire is restricted to an occasional ‘chup-chup’. He’s got the scarlet jacket and the multipurpose beak, but you can’t have it all.

Matt’s books are on sale from the Caught by the River shop, priced £10.