Crossbill, a bird of the finch family. The tips of its bill cross each other when the mouth is closed. This peculiar arrangement, combined with the bird's ability to move its jaws from side to side, makes it easy for the crossbill to spread the scales of pine cones to get at the seeds inside. These seeds are the bird's main food, and crossbills are found only in forests that have cone-bearing trees.
A male red crossbill is a beautiful orange-red color above and gray beneath. A male white-winged crossbill is rose-red with a black tail and black wings barred with white. The females of both species are grayish. Crossbills are found throughout northern North America, Europe, and Asia, and in mountainous regions of tropical America. The birds range in length from five to seven inches (13 to 18 cm).
Crossbills belong to the family Fringillidae. The red crossbill is Loxia curvirostra; the white-winged is L. leucoptera.