A Sister Site of Northern Michigan Birding.
Michigan Birds Checklist:

Michigan Checklist Report Board NMB Forum Sightings Database

 Red Crossbill

Status in Michigan
Uncommon Transient

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Red Crossbill.

Use the links below to view the Red Crossbill reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2008
View Red Crossbill sightings.
Red Crossbill Archives Reports
Summer 2005
Spring 2005
Fall 2004
Spring 2004
Winter 03-04
Fall 2003 14
Spring 2003 1
Winter 02-03 8
Fall 2002 0
Summer 2002 22
Spring 2002 15
Winter 01-02 36
Fall 2001 28
Summer 2001 1
Spring 2001 27
Winter 00-01 28
Fall 2000 9
Summer 2000 1
Spring 2000 0
Winter 00-99 126
Fall 1999 28
Spring/Summer 1999 3

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Red Crossbill

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Loxia curvirostra neogaea Griscom*
Eastern Red Crossbill (A.O.U. 1998: Red Crossbill)

Rare in the southern quarter of Michigan, but more common northward. Irregular in numbers and distribution. One nest record (subspecies t) from Hillsdale.

First recorded for Michigan by Kneeland (1857: 236).

Since the Eastern Red Crossbill (Griscom, 1937: 111, 158; Van Tyne, 1938: 39) is the form ordinarily found in Michigan, records of the Red Crossbill as a species are included here, and the name "Red Crossbill" al- ways refers in this account to the species as a whole. The single Michigan nest record, Hillsdale, February, 1893 or 1894 (Barrows, 1912: 470-72) probably refers to the Eastern Red Crossbill (Van Tyne, 1938: 39).

Upper Peninsula.-Red Crossbills have been noted rarely on Isle Royale: on July 26, 1905, by N. A. Wood, and on August 14, 1929, by Walter Koelz. On the mainland a number of specimens (U.M.M.Z.), of which the majority are Eastern Red Crossbills, though other subspecies are rep- resented, have been taken in a number of localities, from Gogebic County (Leonard Wing, 1940: 195-96) east to Chippewa County (N. A. Wood, 1914: 67; Magee, 1919: 237-38; 1940o: 61-62). Small flocks were noted in the Porcupine Mountains, Ontonagon County (N. A. Wood, 1905: 177; N. A. Wood, Peet, and McCreary, 1906 : 117 ; U.M.M.Z.). Kneeland (1857:236) said Red Crossbills were present in large flocks at Portage Lake, Keweenaw County, during most of the winter of 1856-57, and Van Winkle (1892: 186) found them "abundant" in Delta County. In the Huron Mountains, Marquette County (Christy, 1925: 213; S. S. Gregory, Jr., 1929: 181; Manville, 1941: 240-41), Red Crossbills are usually present in varying numbers from February to November, and are sometimes abundant; one young that was "scarcely able to fly" was collected there May 7, 1921. Van Tyne collected 2 Red Crossbills (U.M.M.Z.) there on June 24, 1936, which appear to be intermediate between the Newfoundland Cross- bill and the Eastern. At McMillan, Luce County (Bryens, 1939: 104, and notes; Bryens and Fritz, 1932: 59), where a few Red Crossbills have been found in every month during some years, they have been generally more common in winter than in summer, but 67 were counted there on June 21, 1930. On June 12, 1940, in the northern part of the county, Braund and Aldrich (1941: 104) noted a flock of 25 Red Crossbills and collected 2 Eastern Red Crossbills.

Lower Peninsula.-As in the Upper Peninsula, nearly all of the Red Crossbills taken here have been referable to the Eastern Red Crossbill. N. A. Wood and Frothingham (1905: 49) saw several Red Crossbills at Mio, Oscoda County, on August 7, 1903; at Lovells, Crawford County, Van Tyne collected an Eastern (U.M.M.Z.) on July 21, 1930, and Leonard Wing noted about 50 Red Crossbills on August 7, 1931. Near Grayling and Lake Margrethe, Crawford County, a few were found on a number of occasions in late May, 1938 and 1939; full-winged young were seen there with adults on May 29 and 30, 1938, by E. M. Brigham, Jr., Walkinshaw, and others, and also on May 20, 1939, by Maurice G. Brooks. Records southward are principally from November to April or May. Gibbs collected an Eastern (U.M.M.Z.) on May 6, 1883, in Montcalm County. In Kalamazoo County, Gibbs (1885: 86; 1889: 187-88) termed the species "quite common some seasons, again rare or not seen at all for several years." He found it arriving there in late December or January, occasionally in November, and remaining in large or small flocks sometimes as late as May 10 (1885). There are several Kalamazoo County specimens (U.M.M.Z.) collected between 1879 and 1885. Griscom (1937: 158) re- corded 3 specimens of the Eastern Red Crossbill (Mus. Vert. Zool.) collected between March and May, 1888, in Jackson County. In the Ann Arbor region (N. A. Wood, 1921a: 591-92; Easterns in U.M.M.Z. and in Max M. Peet collections; other data) the Red Crossbill has been found only rarely and irregularly, from October 18 (1920, a flock of 20 by Walter E. Hastings at South Lyon) to May. About Detroit, Swales (1903: 38; 1905:110-11; and notes), J. Claire Wood (1910: 40), and others recorded a few on rare occasions from November 16 (1903) to May 5 (1908, 5 seen by Swales on Grosse lie).

Loxia curvirostra pusilla Gloger
Newfoundland Red Crossbill (A.O.U. 1998: Red Crossbill)

Five records:
1891. On November 21, a female was taken at Brent Creek near Flint, Genesee County, by J. A. Morden (Griscom, 1937: 118, 158).
1890-92. In the winter of 1891-92 (?), a male (U.M.M.Z.) was secured in Norvell Township, Jackson County, by L. Whitney Watkins.
1938. At Clear Lake, Montmorency County, on May 26, a male and female (both in U.M.M.Z.) were collected by Van Tyne. At Seney, School- craft County, Brodkorb collected a female Newfoundland Red Crossbill (U.M.M.Z.) from a flock of 8 crossbills on June 4, and 5 Newfoundland Red Crossbills (U.M.M.Z.) from a flock of about 20 crossbills on June 9.

Loxia curvirostra minor (Brehm)
Alaskan Red Crossbill (A.O.U. 1998: Red Crossbill)

Exact status not known. Apparently bred in Marquette County in 1941.

Specimens of this subspecies have been secured in Michigan at widely spaced intervals: 1885, male (U.M.M.Z.) collected at Kalamazoo by F. H. Chapin on April 16; 1888, during the spring flight, specimens were taken in southern counties (Griseom, 1937: 95, 124, 158) : 2 at Flushing, Genesee- County, on March 5, 1 at Grand Rapids, on April 10, and 1 at Jackson, on April 16; 1896, 2 (U.M.M.Z.) taken at Unadilla, Livingston County, by D. C. Worcester on November 30; 1929, 1 (U.M.M.Z.) taken at Beaver Island, Charlevoix County, by James H. "Wood on May 8; 1940, 4 (U.M.M.Z.) taken at Little Girl's Point, northwestern Gogebic County, by R. E. Olsen on September 18 and 19; and 1941-between January 10 and 30, 1941, in north- western Schoolcraft County (at Walsh, at Camp Cusino, and within 1^ to 3 miles south of Shingleton, Alger County), G. A. Ammann collected 17 (Max M. Peet collection). One of them, a January 29 male from Walsh, had somewhat enlarged gonads. Between January 27 and February 12, in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, R. H. Manville (1941: 240-41) found "literally hundreds" of Red Crossbills and White-winged Cross- bills. All 7 of the Red Crossbills collected (U.M.M.Z.) proved to be of this subspecies; from the size and condition of the gonads, it was thought that the birds were breeding.

Loxia curvirostra benti Griscom
Bent's Red Crossbill (A.O.U. 1998: Red Crossbill) A red male (U.M.M.Z.) was collected January 17, 1932, 3 miles south of McMillan, Luce County, by Leonard "Wing (1940: 195-96). Griscom (1937: 158-59) records this specimen incorrectly as having been collected in "Lane County."

* Proc. Boat. Soc. Nat. But., 41 (1937): 110.

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

| Checklist Home | View | List All | Log Off |

Be sure to visit these websites for more sightings.

Saginaw Bay Birding
SMRR-Southeastern Michigan Raptor Research
Copyright 1998 Gossamer Threads Inc. Database Powered by Gossamer Threads Inc.