CLO110.gif (5042 bytes) Red Crossbill
Loxia curvirostra
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The Red Crossbill is a highly irregular wanderer, even by winter finch standards! In fact, it may actually breed at any time of year, particularly in the southern part of its range. Therefore, it does not have a winter range per say, but rather occurs year-round from Newfoundland across Canada and the northern U.S. to Alaska; in the west, it occurs at high elevations south as far as Nicaragua. The 1997-98 winter season reports of Red Crossbill are shown on the animated map below.

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White-winged Crossbill

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Unedited reports of Red Crossbill through February 1998.
Click on the map to
see an animated version.

Wild food preferences of Red Crossbill

The primary wild food of Red Crossbills is conifer cones. The winter finch survey is showing that this crossbill is most often found in areas of moderate to heavy cone crops.


The 1997-98 Perspective:

  • The last major invasion of Red Crossbills into the mid-Atlantic States was 25 years ago in 1972.

  • During the winter of 1996-1997, Project FeederWatchers in the southwest, northern Rockies, and North Central regions reported Red Crossbills in record numbers. In the east, they went virtually unreported.
Click on the appropriate box below if you’d like to hear a recording of Red Crossbill vocalizations from the Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
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Copyright 1997 BirdSource. All rights reserved.
Revised: March 25, 1998.