Custom Search

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Red Crossbills (Loxia curvirostra)

Regular visitors here will know that I am never so happy as when I can add a new species of wildlife or wildflower to my collection so you will know that last week was a red-letter week when I visited the summit of Mount Douglas and had my first sighting of these wonderfully coloured birds. Here is a whole flock of Red Crossbills (Loxia curvirostra). They are shaped and move quite like small parrots or parakeets and their bright red colour also suggests some tropical species. Additionally they have an unusual beak where the top and bottom mandibles cross over one another, giving rise to their name. This unusual bill allows them to feed on the seeds hidden within pine cones, their favoured food. The bright orange-red shade is only characteristic of the males. If you look carefully at both photos you will also see females of the species who are an olive-yellow shade.


JoJo said...

Never saw these before! So colourful.

Stephanie said...

Wow! These birds are lovely to look at. Never seen these ones before.

William Kendall said...

Quite a crowd!