Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Parrot Crossbill (Loxia pytyopsittacus)


French: Bec-croisé perroquet German: Kiefernkreuzschnabel Spanish: Piquituerto lorito

Loxia pytyopsittacus


, 1793,



Forms a species group with L. curvirostra and L. scotica, and all have sometimes been considered conspecific. Has hybridized with former, and recently found to hybridize with L. scotica. Recent genetic studies indicate limited differences between the three in Europe, indicating that they are not in total reproductive isolation, but differences in bill size and in flight and excitement calls considered sufficient to restrict widespread interbreeding; further research required (see under L. scotica). Monotypic.


NE Scotland, Fennoscandia, Estonia and N Latvia S to E Lithuania and (rare) extreme E Poland, E to SW Siberia (R Pechora).

Descriptive notes

17–18 cm; 44–69 g. Medium-large, large-headed and bull-necked, short-legged and short-tailed finch with distinctive crossed mandibles. Male has forehead to crown... read more


Calls extremely similar to those of L. curvirostra, differ only in variations in timbre,... read more


Lowland pine forests and woodlands, principally tall, mature and open woodlands of Scots pine (... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes seeds, buds, shoots, mostly of pines (particularly Scots pine) and spruce, also larch, poplar (Populus), alder (... read more


Season Dec to late Jun, laying mostly mid-Mar to mid-Apr, timing determined largely by availability of pine seeds; two broods. Probably... read more


Resident, migratory and occasionally irruptive. Most movements local and of short distance to new... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common in NW of range; scarce or rare elsewhere. European breeding population between 56,000 and 190,000 pairs, most in... read more

Recommended citation

Clement, P. (2020). Parrot Crossbill (Loxia pytyopsittacus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 February 2020).