Bird field guide > Bird identification [C-D] > Crossbill, American bird pictures

Crossbill, American bird pictures


Crossbill, American bird picturesAMERICAN CROSSBILL
521. Loxia curvirostra minor. 6 inches

These curious creatures appear in flocks on the outskirts of our cities every winter, where they will be found almost exclusively in coniferous trees.

They cling to the cones, upon which they are feeding, in every conceivable attitude, arid a shower of seeds and broken cones rattling through the branches below shows that they are busily working.

They are very eccentric birds and the whole flock often takes flight, without apparent cause, only to circle about again to the same trees. The flute-like whistle that they utter when in flight sounds quite pleasing when coming from all the individuals in the flock.

Song. - A low twittering; call, a short, flute-like whistle.

Nest. - In coniferous trees, of spruce twigs, shreds of bark and some moss or grass. The three or four eggs are greenish white spotted with brown (.75 x .55).

Range. - Breeds from northern New England northward and westward, and south in mountains to Georgia; winters in the northern half of the U.S.