Red Crossbills

It’s been a good year for Red Crossbills as we’ve heard then singing (more like buzzing) off and on all winter.  

Generally found high in spruce or pine trees, Crossbills have a unique bill . . . thick and curved with crossed tips. This adaptation allows access to conifer cones that other bird species cannot reach.   The crossed tips let Crossbills grip and twist the cone scales and pry them apart.

The Red Crossbill’s plumage can vary in color and pattern, but generally males are dark red and females are a greenish yellow.

It appears that poor conifer seed production in Canada’s Boreal Forests have pushed the highly nomadic Red Crossbills into Maine and points south.

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