Common crossbill (Loxia curvirostra)

The red crossbill or common crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) Greek: Σταυρομύτης - Stavromitis is a small passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae. Crossbills have distinctive mandibles, crossed at the tips, which enable them to extract seeds from conifer cones and other fruits.

Adults are often brightly coloured, with red or orange males and green or yellow females, but there is wide variation in colour, beak size and shape, and call types, leading to different classifications of variants, some of which have been named as subspecies. The species is known as "red crossbill" in North America and "common crossbill" in Europe. In Greece, the Common crossbill responds throughout the year as an epidemic bird, however its spread appears fragmented, something expected due to the nature of its habitat. This means that its presence is limited only to areas with conifers, usually from an altitude and above, without excluding lowland areas. Also, during the migrations, populations from northern breeding grounds appear, which mix with the permanent ones, mainly during the winter.

In Thassos you can often see it in the winter in the black pine (Pinus nigra) forests




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