Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)


Very similar to Parrot Crossbill, but has thinner neck, smaller head, steeper forehead and slender bill. Upper mandible is less curved towards the tip than in Parrot Crossbill, and the lower is straight, with no bulge. The tip of the lower mandible protrudes from behind the upper (tips of mandibles visibly crossing). The chest is less deep, and birds are not so front heavy. Large individuals may be difficult to identify because of overlapping characters with Parrot Crossbill. Plumage similar to Parrot, with dark wings and tail. Males with rufous red head and body, females green. Juveniles greyish green with streaking. Posture more erect than Parrot Crossbill, especially when foraging on ground.


Contact call similar to Parroy Crossbill's "tupp", but is on average higher and less powerful, with a "cut-off" ending. In sum: Parrot Crossbill; hard attack, soft ending, Crossbill: softer attack, cut-off ending. Beware regional variations and overlap in pitch of calls with Parrot. The song consist of improvised, resonant twittering, and series of contact calls with no apparent phrases. It is generally faster, with less marked pauses than in Parrot Crossbill, and the phrasing seems more random.

Contact call and song:

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Xeno-canto: map


Birdlife ecology

Links: Latest observations

Video IBC

Image search Flickr NB! May give other species

Sound search at Xeno-canto



CC-sound:Piotr Szczypinski, Licence,Link.

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