Red Crossbill

Loxia curvirostra

Red Crossbills are a highly nomadic species and are present on both sides of the Bering Sea. Perhaps it is not too surprising then that this species reaches the Pribilofs every three or four years. Invasions can involve single birds or even large flocks (such as a group of 16 seen on July 24, 2003). At least two subspecies have reached the Pribilofs, withsitkensisvastly outnumbering the smallerminorrace birds. All of the records are from mid July through mid August. At this time of year the Nootka Lupine seeds are generally available and seem to be the preferred food source for crossbills. Most sightings of crossbills are near areas with significant numbers of large Lupines, such as the town hill, Polovina Hill, or along the western coastline of Saint Paul. If confronted with multiple birds check each individual for the possibility of a wandering White-winged Crossbill.


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