Red Crossbill

Loxia curvirostra
Red Crossbill thumbnail
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.

Female | Robert Shantz

Fir forest

Oak-pine woodland
Bird Sound Type: Chirping
Sex of Bird: Male
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Bibliographic details:

  • Article: Red Crossbill
  • Author(s): Dr. Biology
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: July 13, 2017
  • Date accessed: March 22, 2018
  • Link:

APA Style

Dr. Biology. (2017, July 13). Red Crossbill. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved March 22, 2018 from

American Psychological Association. For more info, see

Chicago Manual of Style

Dr. Biology. "Red Crossbill". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 13 July, 2017.

MLA 2017 Style

Dr. Biology. "Red Crossbill". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 13 Jul 2017. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 22 Mar 2018.

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see
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