Birds and small animals of the taiga

Most of the birds that live in the taiga migrate south during the winter, while two species (the European red crossbill and the white-winged crossbill) have adapted to resist this season, feeding on one of the most abundant and nourishing products of this biome: conifer seeds (pine kernels). Pine kernels are enclosed within strong woody cones and can only be pulled out by skilfully using the crossbills’ adapted beak: the European red crossbill (Scandinavia and Russian Confederation) and its American counterpart, the white-winged crossbill, have beaks that criss-cross at the tip, which are therefore extremely useful to pull out conifer kernels. Other common animals are ants, wood wasps, xylophagous beetles (i.e. that feed on wood) and flies. Specially harmful for some trees are some species of butterfly larvae, commonly known as processionary moths.

Special reports

From the Multimedia section

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Facts