Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra (Linnaeus 1758). Hopefully the explanation and sonograms will help birders to separate Parrot Crossbill from the several Common Crossbill types. With this short introduction it’s possible to identify most of the flight calls in the Netherlands. Not very variable, but the quality of the recording might cause the left part to be poorly visible (second call). Recent influx Greenfinch, with a larger, thicker bill with It can certainly be challenging to differentiate flight calls of the various Red Crossbill call-types and some on-line sites offer help (Groth 1993b, Young 2008b, Irwin 2010b). each structurally different excitement call had a corresponding unique flight call. Sonograms of the main flight (1-5) and excitement (A-E) calls of Common, Scottish and Parrot Crossbills. Note that the quality of the recording may cause the right part to disappear (e.g. During the autumn of 2017 a large influx of Parrot Crossbills (Loxia pytyopsittacus) reached Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands and the UK. This is the way vis miggers get to see crossbills. Over the years we learned more about these types, discovered more types and learned that the flight calls of the are somewhat variable, while their excitement calls are less variable. All own recordings. The red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) is a small passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae, also known as the common crossbill in Eurosiberia.Crossbills have distinctive mandibles, crossed at the tips, which enable them to extract seeds from conifer cones and other fruits. To the ear, type A sounds a lot like Parrot Crossbill. Figure 17: FCs of N3 (background species: singing Red Crossbill). In his ground breaking article in Dutch Birding, Magnus Robb opened our eyes and ears for the subtle differences in the vocalisation of crossbills (Loxia sp.) (2004). Similar other types have been recorded in The Netherlands, but these are quite rare. Breeding is dependent on the cone crops and in some years they may start lichen, and grass, and lined with finer grasses, hair and wool. Gives a flat, polyphonic flight call that can sound similar to the Cassia Crossbill or some lower-frequency variants of Type 5. The structure is quite typical, but the left part may be lost in poor recordings. All own recordings. can be done for such a nomadic species. So for a certain description of a new type, recordings of both the excitement call and flight call of the same individual are required. in north-western Europe (Robb 2000). The back, wings and tail are a dark grey-brown. Was that crossbill you just recorded a type A, or a Parrot? They have documented crossbill types extensively, and we now know more and more of these types. The beginning of the call may be a short crinkle (see type A) but is nowadays more commonly a straight line. So keep recording crossbills! Figure 10. He later elaborated on the matter in the first The Sound Approach book (Constantine & The Sound Approach 2006). All own recordings. This is one of the most common ID mistakes. The tail is deeply forked. The male is mainly brick-red, but its crown and rump are brighter, and the Figure 1 shows the current form. conifer seeds, in particular larch, pine and spruce. They are unique in that they usually Figure 1. With the increased interest in sound recording, the number of recordings also increased steadily. Variation in the aberrant form of type C Common Crossbill. (A) Type 4 flight call, showing the typical strong upslur with a faint consonantal onset; recorded 1990 by C. Benkman from a captive bird captured in Oregon in 1989. There are several systematic differences between type A and Parrot: the crinkle in the beginning, the relatively high peak (although some Parrots may show this!) These characteristics can be used to split Red Crossbills into eight distinct types, and it is likely that the species will be divided into multiple species in the future. The nest is a small cup constructed by the female from conifer twigs, moss, He later elaborated on the matter in the first The Sound Approach book (Constantine & The Sound Approach 2006). And so have the number of Loxiaphiles (birders that love to study crossbills). But with the next invasion the common types might be different again! Thanks to the recorded flight calls (Sjaak Schilperoort), this female could be identified as a certain Parrot Crossbill. the Caledonian forests of Northern Scotland and is very similar in size and Following this mini-evolution of types is quite exciting stuff, but it may appear to be too complex for a beginning Loxiaphile. 18 October 2014, Meijendel, Wassenaar, the Netherlands, how to separate Parrot Crossbill from the several Common Crossbill types - by Thijs Fijen, sp.) twittering of short trills. Robb (2000) showed us that in Europe (in North America this was already ‘discovered’) several types of unique combinations of flight calls and excitement calls existed; i.e. Figure 5. Variation in type D Common Crossbill. third call). mm. But beware of the second form of type C (Figure 6), which has proven to be type C based on the excitement calls (erroneously named ‘K2’ in the past). It could be represented by drip-drip-drip , and sounds very different than the slightly ringing quality heard in the Type 6 birds with which it shares habitat.