Common Crossbill (Balearic)

Loxia Curvirostra Balearica

Common Crossbill (Balearic)

Family:

Finches

Length:

15cm to 17cm

Wingspan:

27cm to 30cm

Weight:

40g to 53g

The Crossbill has its own subspecies on the Island named the Balearic Crossbill. It is a resident breeding species which is quite abundant and can be found all over the Island where there are suitable pine woods. Formentor has good numbers but so does the Ternelles and Mondrago. It breeds very early in the season and in the summer the "chip chip" sound can be heard as the youngsters develop. There is a good site at Cassa Velles in the car park where a pool develops after rain but also a pair are normally at the visitors centre at La Gola. If you want to photograph these birds then without doubt Son Real is the place and from the hide on the blue trail, it overlooks a pond where they drink regularly.

Technical description

Crossbill is a genus, Loxia, of birds in the finch family (Fringillidae), with three to five (or possibly many more) species. These birds are characterised by the mandibles with crossed tips, which gives the group its English name. Adult males tend to be red or orange in colour, and females green or yellow, but there is much variation. Crossbills are specialist feeders on conifer cones and the unusual bill shape is an adaptation which enables them to extract seeds from cones. These birds are typically found in higher northern hemisphere latitudes, where their food sources grow. They erupt out of the breeding range when the cone crop fails. Crossbills breed very early in the year, often in winter months, to take advantage of maximum cone supplies.

Other birds in the Finches family