Red Crossbill
Loxia curvirostra

– medium-sized passerine, slightly larger than Common Chaffinch
– diurnal migrant
– migrates singly or in small to medium loose flocks

– several ecomorphs with different measurements and call types occur
– every ecomorph is thought to have one distinct flight and one corresponding excitement call
– mismatched flight and excitement calls are thought to be very rare exceptions
– in a few call types, excitement calls seem to be (almost) identical
– some ecomorphs show much variation in flight calls, at least due to call matching between partners
– JUV flight calls show obvious plasticity, but just for a short period of time
– calls are learned from parents or other conspecifics near nest
ecomorphs with ‘wrong’ call types (even of other crossbills species) are rare exceptions
– several authors claim different call types, but there is no generally accepted updated nomenclature since Robb (2000) so far
– more undocumented ecomorphs, call types and dialects most likely occur
– more solid research, especially of individually marked birds, is necessary


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., AD M
BIF2013, 01/03/2014, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Jens Halbauer
– AD M unmarked strawberry red exept for blackish wings and tail and light grey undertail coverts


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., M
BIF2144, 14/02/2018, Rostock, Germany, Roland Neumann
– conspicuously long and pointed wings
– dark underwing coverts


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., M
BIF2144, 14/02/2018, Rostock, Germany, Roland Neumann
– note different shape of the tail when fanned out


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., F
BIF2134, 03/08/2013, Hof, Germany, Mathias Putze
– F greyish with olive on breast and upper belly
– in straight flight rather short, distinctly forked tail
– fairly large-headed


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., F
BIF2135, 03/08/2013, Hof, Germany, Mathias Putze
– large bill


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., M
BIF2136, 06/02/2018, Rostock, Germany, Roland Neumann
– in M the blackish wings and tail are contrasting to the shining red rump
– reasonable aging in flight is impossible


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp.
BIF2137, 06/02/2018, Rostock, Germany, Roland Neumann
– dense flocks, usually consisting of both sexes

voice:
– very vocal
flight calls on average 0,05-0,1s long, on average between 2-6kHz
flight calls show harmonic partials
excitement calls usually not uttered during straight migration

TYPE A
– the flight call has undergone some change since Robb (2000) described it


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type A, flight call
Stock Dove Columba o. oenas, song

BIF1997, 14/07/2017, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type A, flight call
BIF1996, 16/07/2017, Terpitz, Germany, Patrick Franke

TYPE B
– type B has probably diverged into two quite different flight calls since Robb (2000) described
it, or the flight call not described by Robb (2000)  (very similar to type D) is an undescribed
call type with a very similar excitement call as type B (as well as type D)
– the described flight call has undergone some change since Robb (2000) described it


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type B, AD M, AD F, JUV, flight call, excitement call
BIF2261, 22/05/2018, Důl Bílého Labe, Czech Republic, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type B, excitement call, flight call
BIF2020, 26/04/2017, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Michèle Peron


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type B, flight call
BIF2021, 26/04/2017, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Michèle Peron

TYPE C
– has the largest distribution area, with many local dialects
– new, now separate call types may have evolved from it


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type C, flight call
BIF1995, 14/07/2017, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type C, excitement call, flight call
BIF1988, 07/03/2014, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type C, flight call
BIF1990, 17/02/2015, Šumava National Park, Czech Republic, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type C, flight call
BIF1991, 17/02/2015, Šumava National Park, Czech Republic, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type C, AD M, flight call
BIF1992, 17/02/2015, Šumava National Park, Czech Republic, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type C, flight call
Common Snipe Gallinago g. gallinago, aerial display

BIF1999, 14/06/2015, Kerið, Iceland, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type C, flight call
BIF2018, 13/08/2017, Sachsendorf, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type C, flight call
Goldcrest Regulus r. regulus, flight call
Marsh Tit Poecile p. palustris, call

BIF1986, 02/12/2014, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type C, flight call
Common Reed Bunting Emberiza s. schoeniclus, flight call, social call
Greylag Goose Anser a. anser, call
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla, social call
BIF2254, 07/10/2017, Mannhausen, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type C, flight call
BIF2258, 20/02/2018, Sachsendorf, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type C, flight call
BIF1993, 14/07/2017, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type C, flight call
BIF1994, 14/07/2017, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke

Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type C, 27 IND, flight call
BIF2255, 21/01/2018, Reudnitz, Germany, Patrick Franke

TYPE D
– rather uniform/stable call type


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type D, flight call, wing sound
BIF2001, 14/07/2017, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type D, flight call
BIF2003, 14/07/2017, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type D, AD M, flight call
BIF1998, 01/03/2014, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type D, flight call, excitement call
Willow Tit Poecile montanus salicarius, call

BIF2256, 02/02/2018, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type D, flight call
Blue Tit Cyanistes c. caeruleus, call
Yellowhammer Emberiza c. citrinella, call

BIF2257, 02/02/2018, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke

TYPE X
– some variation between populations (dialects)
– the flight call has undergone some change since Robb (2000) described it


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type X, flight call
Goldcrest Regulus r. regulus

BIF2007, 12/02/2014, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type X, flight call
BIF2011, 14/07/2017, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type X, 1CY, flight call
BIF2012, 14/07/2017, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type X, JUV, flight call
BIF2009, 01/03/2014, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type X, JUV, flight call
BIF2010, 18/03/2014, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type X, AD M, flight call
BIF2008, 13/08/2014, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke

MIXED FLOCKS


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type D B C, flight call
BIF2005, 01/03/2014, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke


Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type B C D, flight call
BIF2262, 14/07/2017, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke

Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type A C D X, 30 IND, flight call
BIF2015, 14/07/2017, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke

Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type A C D X, 30 IND, flight call
BIF2016, 14/07/2017, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke

Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra ssp., type A C D, flight call
BIF2014, 14/07/2017, Werdauer Forst, Germany, Patrick Franke

comparison species:
Two-barred Crossbill (v) (a)
Scottish Crossbill (v) (a)
Parrot Crossbill (v) (a)
Tree Sparrow (a)
Common Redpoll (a)
Pine Grosbeak (v)
Hawfinch (v)

#songbird #passerine #finch

#ornithology #birdmigration #birdID #birdguide #birding #birdwatching #birdsound #westernpalearctic #europe #vismig #flightcalls #middleeast #northernafrica #workinprogress

Reference:
Robb M. S. 2000, Introduction to vocalizations of crossbills in north-western Europe, in Dutch Birding 22, Santpoort-Zuid