Males are dull red or orange overall with gray or brown highlights. Status: West: This type was initially described as a full species–the South Hills Crossbill (Loxia sinesciuris)–by Benkman et al. The flight call can be described as up-down-up-down cheet-cheet-cheet. Status: West: Type 7’s core zone of occurrence is apparently from nw. Other eastern records of Type 4 include a couple recordings from Ohio in the 1969-70 (see Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics’ collection) invasion and a couple from Michigan (Groth 1993). Back in June and July large numbers of Red Crossbills (Type 3, based on a few recordings received) were moving down the west coast. 2009). Your Online Guide To Birds And Bird Watching. This is another case where nomenclatural issues have created confusion that needs to be resolved. As Ron Pittaway’s finch forecast noted, it is likely to be an interesting winter for finches given the drought conditions and spotty food crops in the boreal forest. Preferred trees: Western Hemlock, Engelmann spruce, less often Douglas-fir or Sitka Spruce in the West; in the East, most often Eastern Hemlock or White and Red spruces. Preferred trees: Unknown, but possibly Western Larch or Western White Pine, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Berkeley Type7_flight_call_aF497. 2006). Preferred trees: Coastal variety of Douglas-fir, less often uses interior variety of Douglas-fir, spruces, or white pines. Taxonomy: Would be most appropriately assigned to subspecies L. c. benderei, but L. c. benti has also been assigned to birds that may represent Type 5. It may be accepted as a species in the near future. Kingbird 61: 106-123. Excitement calls, also known as “toop” calls, can aid in identification to call type, but at this time songs cannot be used for identification to call type (see this eBird paper for more on this and song and call of White-winged Crossbill as well). Known range: Primarily the coastal Pacific Northwest of northern California to central Oregon, but uncommon year-round in the Northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada. Like Type 1 it occasionally produces calls polyphonically (see Type 5 for discussion on polyphony) and also has secondary ending components. East: This type has perhaps the most varied diet of the types and is the most widespread Red Crossbill call type in North America (Groth 1993), even occurring in areas of the Plains where ornamental conifers have been planted. Preferred trees: Hard-coned pines. ; Spencer 2009). External microphones can be purchased that improve the recording quality even more; read Bill Schmoker’s excellent review of the topic (for iPhones) and consider purchasing a $25 microphone to further improve the sound quality for your crossbill recordings! It’s a very thin, slightly weak whit-whit-whit. While we welcome recordings from those with professional grade recording equipment, even smartphones can adequately document the call types using their “voice memo” features. Patterns of genetic variation in the adaptive radiation of New World crossbills. Preferred trees: Uses local variety of Lodgepole Pine that has evolved in absence of cone-predating pine squirrels. Type 9 is adapted to feed on Lodgepole Pine (var. Condor 111: 169-176. The nomenclatural confusion here still needs resolution. Young, M. A., D. A. Fifield and W. A. Montevecchi. use the name L. c. pusilla as a synonym of L. c. percna. [eBird map]. Movements: Thought to be resident to island of Newfoundland, but likely moves to Antocosti Island, Quebec and perhaps to other nearby Maritime coasts. The spectrogram (Red Crossbill Type 4 Call) is dominated by a down-up component with the ending section looking very similar to the Type 10 flight call. The 2012 eBird/Clements taxonomy (v6.7) includes not only the nomenclature and taxonomy of species, but also of subspecies. 2009). Type 6 is much less modulated than the m-shaped Newfoundland Type 8. Nomenclature in need of resolution. In order to keep things more focused on the best traits to identify birds to call type, I only discuss flight calls in this paper. North American Birds 64: 343-346. It must be said that while much has been learned in recent years about Red Crossbills, there is still much to learn. 2011. Some of the statements under “known range” below are provisional and reflect only what has been documented to date. In order to find and identify crossbills, it’s essential to develop a familiarity with their flight call vocalizations, which can also be given by perched birds. I would like to thank Nathan Pieplow for the use of the Type 9 recording (Macaulay #136591), the Macaulay Library of Sounds at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, The Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics, and The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley (aka Jeff Groth’s collection) for the use of recordings. At some points in the above article we refer to hard-coned or soft-coned species. Additionally, during the second downward modulated component, the tik-tik-tik call can level out just a bit as it continues downward. North American Birds 65: 554-561. Understanding how these differences relate to traditional taxonomy is fraught with complexity and is an area in need of additional research. Pieplow, N. 2007. Doctoral Dissertation, University California, Davis, December 2008. The lower elements are generally simpler and show less variation individually, whereas the upper elements usually rise sharply before modulating downward (Groth 1993). Movements: Unknown, but likely relatively resident in areas of interior Pacific Northwest.
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