Red Crossbills on Alki Beach, Washington

Red Crossbills are one of my absolute favorite birds. While on my morning walk along Alki Beach with Nature Man, we spotted of flock of these little beauties in a pine tree. There were about 8 total and as usual, they basically ignored us as they gorged on pine cone seeds. We were able to get very close and several “showed off” for us as we watched them hang upside down and hop around through the branches. We have now seen Red Crossbills on 3 separate occasions in Washington state– always near saltwater, and always in pine trees. Their beaks are designed specifically to get inside of pine cones, and they are amazing to watch!

Here is a map of the location where we spotted them today.

Facts about Red Crossbills:

  • Males are red and females are greenish-yellow in coloring, but shades can vary greatly between birds.
  • They are a member of the Finch family.
  • Red Crossbills bread in coniferous forests of North America, Europe, and Asia.

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