What is Red crossbill

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what is Red crossbill

The red crossbill or common crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) is a songbird of the passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae. Weight 35-53 g, Length 16-19 cm,Wingspan: 27–29 cm。

What does a Red Crossbill look like?

The Red crossbill male’s summer feathers are vermilion from the forehead, the top of the head to the back of the neck, and the base of the feathers is brown or olive brown, which is often partly exposed to the outside, making the forehead and top of the head often have some taupe or grass yellow spots. Before the eyes, around the eyes, and ear feathers are dark brown or dark reddish brown, and there is a scarlet spot from the front of the ear feathers to the base of the mouth. The back, shoulders, and sides of the neck are grayish-brown, the margins and tips of the feathers are vermilion sometimes stained with olive red, the waist and tail overlying feathers are bright vermilion, the long tail overlying feathers are dark brown, and the tail is also dark brown with reddish-brown feather margins , and the tail feathers are concave at the end. Wing coverts dark brown with broad pale vermilion-brown tips. Flight feathers dark brown with tawny or brownish red feather margins. The chin, throat, chest, upper abdomen and two flanks are vermilion, and the chin is lighter and almost white. The two flanks are stained with yellowish brown, the lower abdomen to the perianal area is grayish white, and the axillary feathers have light reddish brown feather margins.

The upper body of the female bird is grayish brown, the center of each feather is darker, with a yellow-green tip, especially the yellow-green tip of the head is brighter, the yellow-green tip of the waist is bright and wide, often covering the gray-brown base, making the waist bright Yellow-green without markings, the overlying feathers and tail feathers are dark brown, and the feather margins are greenish-yellow. Eyes, around the eyes, cheeks, ear feathers and the side of the neck gray or off-white, throat, chest, upper abdomen and two flanks gray-yellow or light brown, apex bright yellow-green, lower abdomen and perianal gray-white, undertail coverts dark brown Or chestnut brown, feather edge off-white or white.

Distinguished from all other finches except the white-winged crossbill by crossing the upper and lower bills sideways. The brick red of the breeding male varies by subspecies, from orange to rose and scarlet, but is generally more yellowish than the red of any Suzaku. The red is generally mottled, and the beak is more curved than the hooked beak of the sparrow. The female resembles the male but is dark olive green rather than red. Juveniles resemble females and have vertical stripes. The difference between male and female adult birds, juvenile birds and white-winged crossbills is that there are no obvious white wing spots, and the third-order flight feathers have no white feather tips. Very few red crossbills have slightly white wing spots on their wings, but they are by no means as eye-catching and complete as the white-winged crossbill, and the head shape is not as arched as it. Compared with the named subspecies, the beak is narrower, and the female bird is very yellow; the color is bright, and the light-colored rump is often white; the color is the darkest, the male bird is cherry red, and the female bird is brownish.

The iris is dark brown or dark brown, the apex of the mouth crosses up and down, dark brown or horn brown, the edge of the mouth is yellowish brown, and the legs are dark brown and slightly red.

Red Crossbill habitat

It inhabits mountainous coniferous forests and coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forests dominated by coniferous forests. In the northern and eastern regions of Northeast China, North China and Shaanxi, the altitude is 1100-1800 meters; in the west and southwest regions, the altitude is 2000-4000 meters, and the highest mountain coniferous forest can reach about 5000 meters. In winter, the coniferous forests and broad-leaved forests that descend to the foot of the mountain and the plains also enter and exit the forest margins, small forests and artificial coniferous forests.

Red Crossbill living habit

Wander in winter and some birds migrate in flocks. It is sexually active and likes flocks. Except for single or paired activities during the breeding period, it often flocks in other seasons, especially in places with abundant food, often forming large flocks of dozens or even hundreds. It jumps between the pine branches with cones and looks for cones. It can also use its mouth to climb between pine branches or hang from the branches, and sometimes it goes down to the ground for activities and foraging. When flying, the two wings flap powerfully and fast, showing a shallow wave shape. It often chirps while flying, and the chirping sound is loud, and its sound is like “Jio-Jio-Jio”.

What do Red Crossbills eat

It mainly feeds on the seeds of coniferous trees such as larch, red bark spruce, fish scale spruce, smelly spruce, smelly fir, red pine, etc. It especially likes to eat larch nuts, and also eats red pine nuts, hazelnuts, leaves, inflorescences, berries and other trees and Shrub seeds and fruits, grass seeds and insects. Sometimes they hang upside down to eat, and crack open pine nuts with their mouths. When eating the cones, they first peck off the cones, step on the branches with their feet, and then peck open the scales to eat the seeds. The upper and lower cross mouths can easily tear the seed coat .

What is the lifespan of a crossbill?

In the wild these animals may live up to 16.1 years, and they have been reported to live up to 8 years in captivity.

Are Red Crossbills rare?

Although Red Crossbills as a group are widespread and common, some of the forms (or evident species) are localized, specialized, and vulnerable to the loss of their particular habitat. Conifer forests and groves. Seldom found away from conifers.

Red Crossbill reproduction

During the breeding period from May to August and mid-July, the group gradually becomes smaller and starts to move in pairs, and both males and females are looking for nesting places. The nest is located on the side branches of tall trees in the dense forest of red pine and larch mixed with spruce, more than 20 meters above the ground. The nest is bowl-shaped, woven from larch and spruce twigs, moss, lichen, etc. A clutch of 3-5 eggs, the shell color is dirty white with light green, decorated with purple-gray base spots and reddish-brown and black spots. Incubation is done by the female bird. During the incubation period, the male bird feeds the female bird. The incubation period is 17 days. Parents feed the chicks with larch seeds and leave the nest after 14-18 days. In autumn, the young birds mix with the old birds, form flocks, and leave the breeding grounds to migrate south.

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