Red Crossbill - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Red Crossbill - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Red Crossbill - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Red Crossbill - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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Red Crossbill
Loxia curvirostra

Finch-like Birds
Finch-like Birds (Fringillidae)

Size: Length: 14-17 in Wingspan: None

Description: Crossbills are a very common year-round resident in the Rockies, resembling a pine grosbeak with an overbite. Their heavy beak is strongly hooked above and below, and when the beak is closed, visibly crosses over. By wedging the tip of their beak into a cone, they can part the cone scale slightly and use their tongue to remove the seed. Males are bright red with dark wings and tail. There are no wing bars visible, making it easy to distinguish from the white-winged crossbill. Females are olive-gray, with light streaking. They become yellowish on the rump and belly. The wings and upper tail are dark. They use their thick, crossover beak to crack hard conifer seeds, buds and cones. They also eat insects. They nest at any time of year, usually in late winter or early summer, and normally build their nest in a coniferous tree. The song is made of a series of short, harsh notes: "kip-kip-kip".

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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