Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z restore

Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Loxia curvirostra - Crossbill

Range & Status

Holarctic; in Britain and Ireland 5000 pairs, but fluctuates. The British population is augmented by periodic influxes from the continent, usually in mid-summer.

Regional Distribution

Cornwall: very small numbers (two-ten pairs) breed sporadically in plantations in the Bodmin Moor area. Breeding first confirmed in 1985 at Smallacombe but had probably taken place much earlier at Halvana and perhaps in 1973 at Davidstow. Birds have been recorded in late winter (the breeding season) as far west as the Lostwithiel area. Elsewhere an uncommon migrant; recorded widely during occasional invasion years. Isles of Scilly: uncommon migrant.

Habitat & Ecology

Closely associated with conifer plantations, but ' migrants' will feed on a variety of tree seeds if cones not available. Breeds February to April, dispersing widely in mid-summer in years of poor cone drop. Has colonised much of England in the past 30 years, aided by post-war forestry planting.


Clear-felling of plantations.


Forestry management; mixed age plantations might allow the continued survival of the species in Cornwall. Listed (long list) as a globally threatened/declining species (BSGR, 1995).


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.