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