Red Crossbill

Loxia curvirostra

Red Crossbill
Photo courtesy of Tom Grey

The bills of these birds is specialized for opening pine cones. Holding the cone with one foot, the bird inserts its closed bill between the cone and the scales, pries the scales apart by opening its bill, and extracts the seed with its flexible tongue.

Description:
Bills with crossed tips identifies species. Most males are reddish overall, brightest on crown and rump; wings and tail dusky. Females are yellowish-olive’ throat is always gray

Voice:
A hard jip-jip or jip-jip-jip. Song is jip-jip-jip-jeeaa-jeeaa or warbled passages and chips.
Food:
Pine nuts.
Nest:
A feather-lined saucer in conifer. 3-5 light bluish-green eggs.
Habitat:
Conifer forests and groves
Range:
Fairly common in conifer woods of the northern hemisphere. Wanders irregularly.
Migration:
Irruptive migrant.
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