13 October, 2009

Red Crossbill

Scientific Name: Loxia curvirostra
Order: Passeriformes
Population Estimate: 30M - 100M
Location of Sighting: Grand Marais and Gunflint Trail, Minnesota
Date of Sighting: Year-round
Notes: Seen in pine forest habitats as the crossed bill is designed to feed on pine cones. From afar appears as a stocky bird and the bill is noticeably different. When feeding in trees crossbills will dangle upside-down like parrots as in the first photo. They will also come down to the ground to eat grit to aid digestion. The yellow bird is the female and red is the male. They are differentiated easily from White-winged Crossbills as the Red Crossbills do not have any white in the wings. The two travel in species-specific flocks.

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