crossbill

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crossbill,

bird of the genus Loxia, in the finchfinch,
common name for members of the Fringillidae, the largest family of birds (including over half the known species), found in most parts of the world except Australia.
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 family. Its bill, crossed at the tips, is specialized for pulling apart pine cones and picking out the seeds. Crossbills are found in the evergreen forests of the Northern Hemisphere, as far south as NW Africa and Guatemala. Two species occur in the United States. The red crossbill (L. curvirostra) is found in Europe and in N and central Asia as well as in North America. Males have orange to dull red plumage, with black wings. The white-winged crossbill (L. leucoptera) occurs in northern Russia and in North America; the male of this species is rosy red and both sexes are marked with white wing bars. Females of both species are olive-gray and yellow; they lay three to four pale green, brown-spotted eggs, in well-formed nests built in trees. Crossbills are not considered migratory, but they shift their breeding grounds erratically, probably in response to the availability of pine cones. Sometimes they suddenly appear in large numbers in areas where they were formerly rarely seen. They are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Fringillidae.

crossbill

any of various widely distributed finches of the genus Loxia, such as L. curvirostra, that occur in coniferous woods and have a bill with crossed mandible tips for feeding on conifer seeds
References in periodicals archive ?
We maintained the seven Red Crossbills (type 2 of Groth [1993]) used in the experiments at a low mass several days before and during the experiments by monitoring their diet of seeds of closed pine (P.
This result supports the idea that there is a general relationship between relative feeding rate and bill depth for these morphologically similar red crossbill types.
Field estimates of fitness are difficult to obtain for nomadic species such as red crossbills.
Type 5 red crossbills forage on different species of conifers during different times of the year (Benkman 1993).
Six male and four female red crossbills (type 5) were captured on 18 and 19 September 1993 in a lodgepole pine-Engelmann spruce forest near Aspen, Colorado.
We used bill depth as a measure of bill size because it (1) is not subject to wear; (2) has the largest weighting on the first principal component of four bill measurements (Benkman 1993; also see Groth 1993); (3) should be proportional to the maximum force a crossbill can exert when biting between the cone scales (Benkman 1987b; also see Wiens 1989); and (4) is closely related to the ability of four different types of red crossbills, including type 5, to extract seeds from conifer cones (Benkman 1993).
27) for 30 type 5 red crossbills (includes 10 birds from this study and 20 measured in other studies) and the distribution of bill depths was not significantly different from a normal distribution (using the Shapiro-Wilk's statistic).
Integration of photoperiodic and food cues to time changes in reproductive physiology by an opportunistic breeder, the red crossbill, Loxia curvirostra (Aves: Carduelinae).
The races of red crossbill, Loxia curvirostra, in Arizona.
Notes on the breeding habits of the Red Crossbill in Okanagan Valley, British Columbia.
The influence of daylength on reproductive timing in the red crossbill.
Data from captive Red Crossbills Loxia curvirostra (Tordoff and Dawson 1965, Hahn 1995)and free-living White-winged Crossbills L.

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