Scottish Crossbill

Loxia scotica

This is a well-built finch with a large head and substantial beak with the distinctive crossed mandibles

They are highly adapted to feeding on seeds taken from native Scots pine cones, breaking into the cones with their strong beaks. They also feed on the seed cones of other commercially grown conifers including noble fir and Norwegian spruce. Males are crimson pink with grey wings and tail. Females are predominantly olive with yellowish under parts.

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Discover more about the Scottish Crossbill

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When to see

This bird is unique to Scotland. It is resident throughout the year and breeds in early summer.

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Where to see

Found only in the Highlands it is seen in mature Scots pine woods where family flocks can be found feeding together at the tops of conifers from June onwards.

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Did you know?

This is Scotland’s one and only endemic species of bird (that is a species found only in Scotland and nowhere else). It can be difficult to tell the Scottish crossbill apart from the two other members of the crossbill family that share its range, namely the crossbill and the parrot crossbill. For more information about the debate about whether the Scottish crossbill is a separate species, click here.

Binoculars Icon Blue
When to see

This bird is unique to Scotland. It is resident throughout the year and breeds in early summer.

Map Icon Blue
Where to see

Found only in the Highlands it is seen in mature Scots pine woods where family flocks can be found feeding together at the tops of conifers from June onwards.

Book Icon Blue
Did you know?

This is Scotland’s one and only endemic species of bird (that is a species found only in Scotland and nowhere else). It can be difficult to tell the Scottish crossbill apart from the two other members of the crossbill family that share its range, namely the crossbill and the parrot crossbill. For more information about the debate about whether the Scottish crossbill is a separate species, click here.

Binoculars Icon Blue
When to see

This bird is unique to Scotland. It is resident throughout the year and breeds in early summer.

Map Icon Blue
Where to see

Found only in the Highlands it is seen in mature Scots pine woods where family flocks can be found feeding together at the tops of conifers from June onwards.

Book Icon Blue
Did you know?

This is Scotland’s one and only endemic species of bird (that is a species found only in Scotland and nowhere else). It can be difficult to tell the Scottish crossbill apart from the two other members of the crossbill family that share its range, namely the crossbill and the parrot crossbill. For more information about the debate about whether the Scottish crossbill is a separate species, click here.