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Dolphin View Cottage, Ardersier

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Scottish Crossbill - Loxia scotica

Added on 26 September 2022

The Scottish crossbill is a chunky, thick-set finch with a large head and distinctive crossed mandibles.  They are highly adapted to feeding on seeds taken from native Scots pine cones, breaking into the cones with their crossed 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. They are the UK's only endemic bird species (ie one found nowhere else in the world) and are resident in the Highlands of Scotland.  This female was photographed near Inverness but they are also to be found in Culbin Forest, Rothiemurchus and other pine woods locally. Female Scottish Crossbill photographed near Inverness