This flock of birds found our feeders today. You can't see it in this photo, but there are no feathers covering each bird's nostrils, just above its beak. Why?


These are Pinion Jays. They get their name from the Pinion Pines that produce their favorite food. As the pine cones ripen, these jays feast on the seeds. The cones of the Pinion Pine usually have quite a bit of pine resin on them, making them very sticky. The lack of feathers around the base of the bill makes it much easier for these birds to enjoy their feast, without getting pine sap stuck in their feathers.