The crossbill is a genus, Loxia, of birds in the finch family (Fringillidae), with six species. These birds are characterised by the mandibles with crossed tips, which gives the group its English name. Adult males tend to be red or orange in colour, and females green or yellow, but there is much variation.
Crossbills are specialist feeders on conifer cones, and the unusual bill shape is an adaptation which enables them to extract seeds from cones. These birds are typically found in higher northern hemisphere latitudes, where their food sources grow. They erupt out of the breeding range when the cone crop fails. Crossbills breed very early in the year, often in winter months, to take advantage of maximum cone supplies.