Crossbill Diagnosis Page

Crossbill Diagnosis Page

The grid below depicts sonograms of the three most frequently used vocalizations (calls) among red crossbills. Although there is some variability among individuals in call structure, the differences among forms (Types 1 to 7) are sufficient for diagnosing the species identity of most unknown flocks or individuals in the field. Sonograms used here were chosen, from among thousands, to represent the modal structure for each species.

Click on the play buttons for the sounds. Other images are hyperlinks to further descriptive information. See the main page of this guide for information about compatibility between audio files types and Web browsers.


<< These are links to more info.





Can't hear the differences? Humans may want to try slow versions of the recordings (quarter-speed) to compensate for relatively poor (compared to birds) discrimination of frequency modulation over time.
The different "types" of crossbill have significant morphological differences, primarily in bill and body size. For further information, read more about the natural history of crossbills, or consult a technical monograph on the subject.
Not enough is known regarding the distribution of the various crossbill forms. If you have tape recordings of crossbills, I would be grateful if you would add them to a growing database containing information about crossbills around the world. Please contact:
Jeff Grothjgg@amnh.orgDepartment of OrnithologyAmerican Museum of Natural HistoryNew York, NY  10024