School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Why is Rudolp's nose red?

Bird Details

Perching Perching

Red Crossbill

Loxia curvirostra

Red Crossbill
copyright Brian Small
Length: 6 in. (16 cm)
Dependent on pine cones for food, the bizarre crossed bill of this species is used to deftly extract seeds from this otherwise difficult source of food. Because of their dependency on this single source of food, the populations of Red Crossbills are constantly wandering to find local eruptions of cones. Where they were common one year, they may be completely absent the next. They also nest opportunistically from late winter to early spring. The nest is made of twigs and placed on a high horizontal branch away from the trunk The hatchlings are fed a regurgitated puree of pine cone seeds. This species is usually in small flocks year round. The four-digit banding code is RECR.

Fir forest
Fir forest

Oak-pine woodland
Oak-pine woodland

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Male
Chirping (sound type)
Bird Call
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CR_RECR_CALLS_1_061704_S.jpg
Male
Chirping (sound type)
Bird Call

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by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.