Red Crossbill

Loxia curvirostra




Fringilline & Cardueline Finches (Fringillidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Light green or blue with brown and lavender spots

Number of Eggs:

3 - 4

Incubation Days:

12 - 18

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

6 - 40 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Twigs, bark pieces, grass, rootlets with lining of finer grasses, feathers, fur, hair, and moss.





Red Crossbill: Medium-sized finch with red-orange body, brighter red rump, and dark brown wings. Bill is dark and crossed at tip. Tail is notched. Female has yellow-orange crown and rump, olive-green body, and gray-brown wings and tail. Juvenile is streaked brown overall.

Range and Habitat

Red Crossbill: Breeds from southern Alaska, Manitoba, Quebec, and Newfoundland, south in the west to northern Nicaragua, and in eastern U.S. to Wisconsin and North Carolina (in mountains). Spends winters irregularly south to the Gulf Coast; also in Eurasia. Preferred habitats include coniferous forests; visits ornamental evergreens in winter.

Breeding and Nesting

Red Crossbill: Three or four light green or blue eggs spotted with brown and lavender are laid in a shallow saucer of bark strips, grass, and roots, lined with moss and plant down, and built near the end of a conifer branch. Eggs are incubated for 12 to 18 days by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Red Crossbill: Eats a variety of foods, including insects, buds, and seeds. Larger-billed individuals prefer pinecones; smaller-billed birds favor spruce cones.

Readily Eats

Safflower, Apple Slices, Suet, Millet, Peanut Kernels, Fruit


Red Crossbill: Song is a "chipa-chipa-chipa, chee-chee-chee-chee"; also a sharp "kip-kip-kip."

Similar Species

Red Crossbill: White-winged Crossbill has thick, white wing-bars.

The crown is the top part of the birds head.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X